Concerns have been raised over the forthcoming nursing associate role in England this week, with nursing leaders warning the proposals have been “rushed”, leaving insufficient time to consult on what those in the new position will be able to do and their standards of training.
It follows the revelation last week that nursing associates will work independently, be trained in drug calculation, and also be able to administer controlled medicines after a draft curriculum document was leaked.
Calls for those in the new position to be regulated have been heightened due to confusion over the boundaries between the role of nurses and associates and fears that nurses could be held accountable for drug errors made by associates.
The Royal College of Nursing’s chief executive also spoke out about the drug training proposals for associates, saying they were “ridiculous”, and warned that viewing nursing as a task-based activity risked devaluing the work of nurses.
- New nursing associate role developed too quickly, warn profession’s leaders
- Exclusive: Leaked document reinforces call to regulate nursing associate role
- RCN chief says new role risks devaluing nursing
In other education news, the first degree-level nurse apprenticeships will begin in September 2017 at four universities across England. The Universities of Derby, Gloucestershire, Greenwhich, and Sunderland have been given funding by the government to develop the new courses by next autumn.
Meanwhile, policy and workforce experts have warned of the “incredible imbalance” between the funding provided to train doctors and nurses. During a House of Lords session on NHS staff morale, the experts pointed to disparities in investments for university education, as well as cuts to continuing professional development funding for nurses.
Finally, Nursing Times has learned recommended midwife-to-supervisor ratios are under review as part of NHS England’s plans change the way the profession is supported in practice. Some of the NHS trusts testing new supervision models said they planned to scrap the common 1:15 ratio during pilots due to a lack of evidence for its effectiveness.