The degree programme (which, incidentlaly, I have alsmost completed/enjoyed). and the emphasis upon academic excellence, does not necessarily make you a better nurse - practical experience counts for far more. However, what I would say, and I agree with Mike on this one, is that the degree enables though wishing to do so, to further their careers but, I feel that's all it does - at the end of the day, its a piece of paper - what you do with it and how you apply what you have learned, is the important thing.
I know I digress here, but I would add though that the degree programme needs to be altered to place greater emphasis upon assessment of practical skills/communication etc - as there is no formal assessment apart from placement reports, I suppose. At the moment, assessment and gaining a degree is based on what you attain in assignments - brilliant essays do not always equate to good nurses! There are some newly qualified nurses who may sail through the degree, because they are academic but who may not have the important skills/attributes, etc, that are required to care for people. Therefore, feel there needs to be a balance between assessing the academic side and the skills/attributes required, which actually, mean the most to patients.
Finally, going back to nurses with many years of experience wanting to attain degree status, feel that this should be funded by the workplace - but with financial constraints and cutbacks etc, unfortunately, do not think this will happen very easily/often or, at all.
Comment on: HCAs granted full membership of RCN
I couldn't agree more with you Mike HCAs should be properly registered and adhere to a code of practice. they should also be represented, if they wish to, but not necessarily by the RCN - who are there to represent nurses or so I thought?! I hope to qualify in March 2012 and Im considering, after reading all the comments re the RCN whether to change to another union - will have to give it some thought I think.
Comment on: How to manage hypoglycaemia
Yes, couldnt agree more with you Mike - a really useful and informative article, especially good for students like myself - thanks NT.Yes, need more articles like this please.
As a 3rd year student - no, I do not find this article useful, its discriminatory - as nurses we do not and should not discriminate - like Ive said before, we treat and care for people with dignity, compassion etc etc, adhering to professional code of conduct and, like Mike said, behaving in a way that is morally right as professionals should do.
Yes, without a doubt!