Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Let’s face it, there is no additional money

  • Comments (13)

As part of my job I get out to conferences and meet nurses who have taken some time out to learn and network with others. I also spend too much time looking at Twitter, which gives the impression that everyone who works in the NHS spends most of their time at conferences.

So it was a stark reminder when a nurse recently told me that it cost her £700 to take her asthma diploma – and she had to do it in her own time.

For many nurses the opportunity to spend a couple of days at a conference is unlikely. Even getting an afternoon off to attend a link nurse session is a luxury and many do these roles in their own time. While dedication should be applauded, and as professionals perhaps it is accepted that some study is done in our own time, I wonder if the “good will” approach is sustainable.

Since the Francis Report there has been a considerable amount of rhetoric around education and staffing levels but very little in terms of tangible change. The results of our survey published a few weeks ago showed that nurses still feel undervalued overworked and underpaid.

The problem is that as trusts throw money at increasing nursing numbers and addressing training needs, demand on services continue to rise and we are just running to catch up.

Nursing numbers and training opportunities have been forced up the list of priorities in many trusts but the reality is they are often paid for at the expense of another part of the service because, let’s face it, there is no additional money.

So where does this leave my friend who is paying £700 for her asthma course?

To be honest, I’m not sure. It is possible to argue that training not only benefits the service you work in but is also part of personal professional development and the financial cost and time should be shared.

An interesting argument if salaries keep pace with inflation, but I am sure many of you have felt the pinch in the last few years.

So what is the alternative? I would be interested to hear.

  • Comments (13)

Readers' comments (13)

  • Anonymous

    If nurses are so stupid as to pay their own fees for essential courses, then everyone will expect that we all follow like sheep. It is because of reported incidents like this that money has been withdrawn for training. You are right, salaries have not kept pace with inflation, and there is very little opportunity for meaningful career development in nursing anyway, so I think this is probably £700 thrown down the drain. Sorry to be so pessimistic.

    Nurses are a valuable resource, but they are just not being utlisited effectively. It is cost-efficient to provide money for training, and may stop people leaving and entice higher calibre people into the profession.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Anonymous

    I get time for pointless mandatory training updates which bore the pants off everyone but anything meaningful that truly affects patient care gets sidelined

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Anonymous

    I do mandatory updates online at night because that is the only time that it is possible to do that without lots of interruptions.

    Link role meetings often get missed in our trust because the nurses can't be released from the wards; they then get told off because they aren't able to carry out their link role responsibilities.

    There is only one degree module that is fully funded, and that is mentorship, and it's only available because they need us to mentor students. Am I cynical? Maybe!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I am just about to take my end of term exams on my Masters degree which I have had to fund myself and I do not feel I am stupid for doing so as one person suggests self funders are (comments above) , disgruntled I had to pay myself, yes.

    It would appear that the trusts are looking for degree and higher degree graduates and then further diplomas and certificates in certain role specific subjects in their advertisements, however with the majority of nurses on Band 5 salaries and few hours to spare how do they expect us to advance our own knowledge and thus enhance the units we work for and ultimately give good updated, evidence based care to our patients when the funding has been all but stopped.

    Then of course there is the NMC wanting to increase fees for registration plus the mandatory prep hours we need to do which we cannot be released to do so have to do in our own time.

    Nursing is definitely a vocation, if your after respect and decent salary, I would suggest doing an MD, most nurses I have met over the years are more than capable we just didn't realise we were!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Anonymous

    pamela gridley | 20-May-2014 12:40 pm

    I too self-funded and carried out in my own time my MSc Healthcare Management for multidisciplinary HC professionals which put us in touch with colleagues from all around such as GPs, A&E nurses, nurses already in management and on commissioning boards and a medical practitioner in public health among the cohorts. it is one of several of the best investments I have made in my life although at the time I graduated and for several years it was not recognized by the NHS or outside my university and it did not lead me back to a career in the NHS or further up the career ladder as I had hoped!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Anonymous

    Trusts are throwing money at agency and bank staff to fill shifts they are not filling by employing sustainable posts. Budgets have been cut, cut and cut again by this govt. on the premise that public service is to be dismantled. The IT system project wasted millions. PFI is continuing to repay ridiculous loans. Most recently NHS reforms have cost millions upon millions.
    This is why there is a perceived 'no additional money', not a reality. It has been directed to all these other places by choice. So when I hear it suggested that we as a profession should not be insisting on adequate and required training to do the jobs expected it frankly makes me furious. It's a self defeating emotional blackmail nurses dump on each other because they are not looking at the bigger picture and roaring at the inept management, political interference and self interested greed that not only denies us of support but the public of the service and care that is theirs by social contract.
    Pitting groups against each other is demoralising, destructive and devoid of any ethics that would not be unreasonable to expect in a healthcare environment.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • bob cat

    Trusts are throwing money at agency and bank staff to fill shifts they are not filling by employing sustainable posts. Budgets have been cut, cut and cut again by this govt. on the premise that public service is to be dismantled. The IT system project wasted millions. PFI is continuing to repay ridiculous loans. Most recently NHS reforms have cost millions upon millions.
    This is why there is a perceived 'no additional money', not a reality. It has been directed to all these other places by choice. So when I hear it suggested that we as a profession should not be insisting on adequate and required training to do the jobs expected it frankly makes me furious. It's a self defeating emotional blackmail nurses dump on each other because they are not looking at the bigger picture and roaring at the inept management, political interference and self interested greed that not only denies us of support but the public of the service and care that is theirs by social contract.
    Pitting groups against each other is demoralising, destructive and devoid of any ethics that would not be unreasonable to expect in a healthcare environment.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Anonymous

    I've worked with post reg students who have been self funded and those who've been seconded. Doesn't take a brain the size of a planet to work out who was better motivated.
    It does need a balance, services need better educated nurses. Employer should be prepared to offfer sufficient TIME, with some financial support, so that the maximum benefit can be got from courses, not just best in the time available.
    What is gaulling, is that many courses 'aint extending the role of the Nurse but clutching at the role of the Medic. It's a bigger con, high pressure workload with little of the reward, financial or otherwise that our medical colleagues make and more punitive sanctions when mistakes are made.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Anonymous

    a higher educated workforce is unwelcome because they think for themselves, demand professional and personal autonomy, have too highly developed cognitive and analytic skills, speak out too much, ask too many questions, command higher salaries and other benefits, are too assertive and seriously upset the cosy managerial status quo, not to even to mention their focus on and very real concern for their patients, fighting to get the best resources and conditions for them and a genuine desire and motivation to improve their care!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Anonymous

    Education is never a bad thingh.
    We need more educated nurses with passion for good care.
    If truth be known people who are able to fund themselves will hardly want to stay on the floor with so much understaffing and hard physical work.
    Nursing will benefit greatly if the educated nurses stay on the front line and on the shop floor, and let the paper work and tick boxes go to the less educated, receiving a lower salary.
    So there is a complete U -turn, and I can be sure every one will see the difference and feel the difference.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Show 1020results per page

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment.

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.