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Will increasing the number of places on nursing courses solve the staffing crisis?

Posted by:

30 December, 2013

This is part of the first ever national workforce plan for the NHS, which aims to recruit and retain more nurses to prevent staffing levels dropping dangerously low.

This could result in 2017 seeing the largest number of qualified nurses ever produced, according to HEE.

What do you think?

  • How far will this go to solving the staffing crisis?
  • Will universities, placement and mentors be able to adapt to increasing numbers of student nurses?
  • Should more be done to persuade former nurses to return to the profession?
  • Why are nurse numbers dropping?

Readers' comments (10)

  • It might help if they are employed once qualified!

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  • Giving qualified nurses jobs will solve the staffing crisis

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  • agree with the two comments above. recruitment and retention both of which require effort on the part of the employers!

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  • they would do better to take the places for training and then seek employment abroad where there is better healthcare and better working conditions in many countries and whilst UK training is still well thought of.

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  • They need to have a little more time in the clinical environment to become better equipped to the do the task. I have experience but because of my age was forcefully retired, they said I was clinical competent, although part time (32 Hours a week) I saw more patients as an ENP than the full timers and 4 days sick leave in 3 years. Now the only work I can get is agency which is expensive for the trusts, and if I apply for jobs I do not even get short listed, I have seen my references and they are very good. So do they really want trained nurses?

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  • Anonymous | 4-Jan-2014 6:20 pm

    don't worry about being expensive for the trusts. if they are willing to pay and lose money that way go for it. That is their problem to sort out. you have to put number 1 first as nobody else will and get what you can otherwise you will find yourself out on your ear and the patients will lose out!

    re increasing the numbers, it seems this will go a long way to solving some of the problems but the issues seem far more and deeper than just staffing numbers which need proper scrutiny right across the board of healthcare.

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  • Agree with both the above 6:51 and 6:20 pm.
    I too am a nurse practitioner and am finding it hard to find a secure position, despite employers saying that they need us! It seems the only course open is agency work. Which I would rather not do.

    Everything is done on the cheap. I would never advise any young person (or mature student come to that) to start training under this government as they do not recognise nursing skills.

    This government is only interested in nursing on the cheap. Why bother going through a degree programme - which is not an easy option for a degree despite what the Daily Mail infers because as well as studying for a degree you also need to qualify in nurse training - when all they want is low paid low grade handmaidens and brow moppers who take the blame for the ills of the NHS?

    Even if you do struggle to qualify you wont get a half decent job as there are so many foreign nurses being recruited because they are cheap. In my trust there have been 20 Spanish nurses taken on within the last few months who can barely speak English; who have been given cheap accommodation, and get free bus passes for a year!! These are not benefits that newly qualified British nurses are offered. Neither are the nurses already employed by the Trust who are struggling to get to work, and find affordable accommodation for themselves and their families.

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  • I say quality not quantity: I'd rather work with one well-trained nurse than half a dozen who have been placed on an 'accelerated' course which is nigh-on impossible to fail or be removed from who - upon qualifying - lack even the most basic of clinical skills to enable them to function as a qualified nurse, although I guess I'm in the minority here.

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  • Anonymous | 6-Jan-2014 2:42 pm

    "I say quality not quantity"

    Why not both?

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  • Anonymous | 6-Jan-2014 5:32 pm

    Putting it simply: the two qualities are antipodal - you have one or the other; by definition nothing of quality is ever produced in vast quantity.

    Yes, we need more nurses, but why the rush? Why not offer some of those expert nurses that are due to retire (or who are thinking of leaving) incentives to stay on?

    My advice: take your time, chose candidates with care, train them on a proper three-year course where they have time to learn and grow and become the nurses we actually want and need not the totally incompetent and largely unemployable shower we'll get if the HEE act as is suggested in this article.

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