Campaigns to encourage people to join the nursing profession will fail unless they are backed with cash incentives, according to an agency that has revitalised the image of teaching.
The Training and Development Agency for Schools was responding to the much-awaited Nurses in Society document, which raised concerns that the profession has become an unpopular subject choice among prospective students.
Attracting high-calibre recruits and ensuring the profession is ‘perceived as a worthwhile career for talented people’ is essential, according to the document.
It recommends that the Department of Health devise a promotional campaign for nurses similar to those of the TDA.
The agency has overhauled the image of teaching with campaigns worth £13m this year alone. It told NT the campaigns would have been less successful without cash incentives for graduates.
Jeeve Gupta, head of campaigns at the TDA, said: ‘It has not just been down to the adverts – it’s been about financial incentives to become a teacher, like the bursary and the golden hello.
‘Our campaigns talked about the ideological incentives of being a teacher, but also that you would be adequately compensated.’
According to Nurses in Society, teaching moved from the 92nd most desirable career choice for 25–35-year-olds to the first as
a result of the TDA campaigns.
The DH said it was too early to discuss any of the report’s recommendations.
‘Graduates want to make a difference, but are not so ideological they want to be paid peanuts.
‘They need to look at the whole package, it has to be followed up with money, you can have a good campaign but it has to sell something people want.’
1) Promote nursing as a more attractive career option for school leavers.