Saturday, November 14, 2009

Graduate entry nursing

This is a recent government announcement also announced by the NMC (Nursing and Midwifery Council) at the same time.

Press reaction has not been good.

The Royal College of Nursing has been pushing this agenda for some time, while UNISON has been much more cautious stressing difficulties in recruiting from diverse backgrounds and these concerns remain an issue.

But I think the time has now come to make this move. I think society has moved on and a degree is much more common than in the past where it was the preserve of a small elite. And I think the demands of nursing are much greater in terms of research, evidence as well as tasks such as organisation, management and critical autonomous thinking skills that tomorrow's nurses will need to be educated to a higher level.

I don't think that it's right to have two streams of entry (diploma and degree). There are two many inconsistencies between these two entry streams.

I don't agree with the false opposition between caring and developing a knowledge base - in today's nursing that's a thing of the past - all nurses are going to have to be able to work at the cutting edge.

The Diploma (which I did) takes 3 years to complete. All of the students I knew (including me) who had a previous degree found the Diploma harder than a Degree.

Of course, whenever entrance requirements are set, people who don't meet the standard are excluded but equally people are discouraged from entering the profession if the academic attainment doesn't match their abilities and so the profession loses out in that way as well.