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News Special: The nurse contribution to the next stage review - Recruitment campaigns must be backed with cash

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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.’

Society strategies

1) Promote nursing as a more attractive career option for school leavers.
2) Support, retain and develop the current and future workforce.
3) Learn from customer-focused organisations on using patient feedback to improve service quality.
4) Formally regulate and educate assistant nurses and practitioners.
5) Review pre and post-registration nursing education.
carried out by the NMC.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • The pay student Nurses get is insulting at best, and now they have even got rid of the bursary by making it an all degree proffession. It is ridiculous. It is no wonder Nursing has such a high drop out rate and those that survive the course are so stressed. Nursing should not involve so much sacrifice.

    Police, military, etc, all other public services get a basic salary when they are being trained, we deserve no less.

    Being asked to survive on less than the minimum wage is an insult to the people who give their all to this proffession.

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