The Francis report has highlighted the need to recruit nursing students with a positive attitude to care.
The report stresses a need to recruit in to the profession only those who possess “the appropriate values, attitudes and behaviours”.
It is recommended that no-one should be accepted on to a nursing course unless they have spent a minimum of three months working on the direct care of patients under the supervision of a registered nurse.
This is coupled with an aptitude test “at entry in to the profession” to assess the candidates’ attitudes towards caring, compassion and other necessary professional values.
It is suggested that this should be introduced by the Nursing and Midwifery Council in conjunction with the universities providing the training.
The report also highlights a need for national standards to be rolled out ensuring that nurse training involves “sufficient practical elements”.
In order for all nurses to be trained to a consistently high standard, it is suggested that all student nurses will sit the same examinations and receive a common qualification. At present this is largely dependent on the individual institution.
In theory, these steps will place emphasis on nursing institutions to produce a workforce who provide a consistently high-standard of compassionate care.