Do you need to go to university before you become a nurse? Beyond the Bedpan tries desperately to sit on the fence, but readers’ minds appear to be made up
Beyond the Bedpan has been unable to hear itself think lately, such is the deafening roar of the all-graduate nursing debate.
In case you have been seconded to the moon for the past week and missed it, here are the basics: The Nursing and Midwifery Council, backed by the Department of health, has recommended that all new nurses should require degrees before being allowed to join the profession.
The move either escalates nursing to a the lofty intellectual heights it deserves, or condemns patients to wallow in their own filth while the nurses that used to look after them ponder the abstract philosophical principles of post-modern Bauhaus management techniques.
The latter point was picked up with predictable vigour by the tabloid press, including Eamonn Holmes of the Sunday People, who lamented the attempt to turn nurses into “doctors on the cheap”.
This was quickly slapped down by the government, namely health minister and former nurse Ann Keen, who told Nursing Times: “Eamonn Holmes may want nurses to hold his hand and empathise with him, but he would also want us to be exceptionally knowledgeable about his condition and to make sure we administered safe care. For that you need a clever nurse, so the case has already been made.”
Whether “clever” necessarily requires a degree is up for debate. And debate it you have, dear readers.
“It will fail in its aim and only assist in driving wedges between staff,” said one.
“This is going to lead to some excellent young people, who would make great nurses, being barred from the profession,” said another.
“Having a a degree won’t change the fundamental flaws in the NHS system. The system is antiquated, not it’s nurses.”
In fact support for the proposal was thin on the ground, but one nurse did say it was “the only way to go if we want to be seen as a true profession not a vocational career”.
It would seem the jury is still out. What do you think?