The Conservatives have confirmed their support of graduate level entry for registered nurses and clarified their definition of “nursing” to include HCAs.
Shadow health minister Anne Milton then appeared to contradict Mr Lansley’s announcement by telling Nursing Times there was “no doubt” that registered nurses needed degrees.
This week the Tories said Mr Lansley’s definition of “nursing profession” included healthcare assistants.
A spokesman said: “These people provide care for patients in a nursing fashion and that’s part of the wider terminology of nursing.”
“Some nurses will start out in these roles and they can still then take the training to become a registered nurse, but in order to become registered nurses will need to have a degree,” he said.
The Nursing and Midwifery Council is currently running a consultation on the future of pre registration nurse education. The profession is due to become graduate only entry by 2013.