Nursing should not be a degree-only profession, Unison has claimed in response to an NMC consultation.
According to Unison, there should be a mix of diploma and degree nursing courses to make entry into the profession as wide as possible.
The claims were made in the union’s submission to the NMC consultation on pre-registration nursing education that closes today.
Gail Adams, Unison head of nursing, said: ‘There is no evidence that having a degree makes you a better nurse. The diploma route is often more attractive to mature workers who have masses of experience, often working in the NHS, but don’t have the academic qualifications needed to go for a degree.’
Ann Moses, chair of Unison’s nursing sector, said the consultation was an opportunity to end the ‘too posh to wash’ scenario where nurses are not involved in hands-on patient care.
‘Many nurses fear that the proposed changes would lead to a reduction in the number of registered nurses and their role becoming more supervisory and coordinating.’
Meanwhile Unite/CPHVA, warned government proposals in a separate consultation on post-registration education could end health visiting as a specialist career pathway.
Unite/CPHVA Professional Officer, Rita Newland said: ‘What this will mean in every day terms is that families and communities may not receive the level of specialist community nursing care they currently enjoy in the future.’