Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Nursing to become degree-only profession


The Nursing and Midwifery Council has ratified proposals to make nursing an all-graduate profession yesterday.

In a historic move for nursing in the UK, a meeting of the NMC's ruling council meeting in London rubber-stamped six key principles for future nursing education standards.

The proposals, which will come into effect by 2015, state that 'the minimum academic award for pre-registration nursing programmes will be degree'.

A further principle says there should be a period of preceptorship to 'guide and support all newly qualified nurses to make the transition from student to develop their practice further'.

The move follows a consultation held by the regulator over the future of nursing.The consultation was part of the Modernising Nursing Careers initiative, which is designed to create a nursing workforce for the 21st century.

All proposals discussed at the meeting are subject to amendment.

Stakeholders are split over the decision, with the RCN in favour of a move to all-graduate nursing and Unison against.


Readers' comments (18)

  • I welcome this proposal. But, I query how this is going to influence the future prospect of nursing? Will this influence the care that the patients receive? or Will it affect the way that the nursing is perceived by the public? or Will it cause better pay for nurses? Neither will result. It might only improve the prospect of nurses being prepared for taking more advanced role.
    The future candidates may be proud of being a degree holders but, not as nurses. It also results in more people get into degree nursing ,as it is easier to grab a degree in nursing compared with its counterpart. It is also another less work for curriculam planners and universities.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I have been qualified for 37years and feel this just another split within the profession once again we are creating two tier profession and playing all parties against one another. Is this really required. I must be fortunate as I will be retiring in 2016.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment


    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • The big question, is a nurse a professional because she has earned a degree? I think 'profession' needs to be defined and taught in nursing schools before anyone becomes a nurse because its the attitude of the nurse that makes a difference in the profession. If nurses could just do the work rather than getting involved with who is the most popular on the ward( high school stuff) or gossip or 'eating their young'.. which happens, then we might have a chance to be a profession. The attitude needs to change, we need to think like professionals not just say we want to be professionals.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Great, why has it taken the NMC so long to make this decision. Many of my fellow colleagues (3rd year adult nursing students) undertaking a diploma are more than capable of passing a degree and it is finances that have restricted them from doing so. Some students benefiting from a bursary that exceeds more that their nurses starting salary will be.
    Until nursing students have a structured pathway of interview, not a system that allows outlandishly unsuitable students to begin the course, be dissruptive, inattentive and unattend and to withdraw when the going gets tough or they are asked to submit work by a specified date. a vocational approach to nursing is needed rather than the economics and an assured resource driven diploma or degree, only then will nursing students who have no heart filled passion for the role will not be drawn towards the course. How many historians, scientists, bilinguists have been paid to take their degree. Teachers overcome great hardship to accomplish their dream. Our accomplishment can take us to the rest of the world and be rewarding, challenging and successful, so lets not be weak at the first hurdle of having to step up to degree level, lets grasp it and be thankful for the oppurtunity.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I'm a 34 woman with two young children and have wanted to do nursing for years. I have now managed to get onto a "DIPLOMA" course at my local University. There is no way in this world I would have been able to enter such a wonderful and professional profession as nursing without the Diploma being on offer. The bursery is a very important factor in my decision to take this course and I definately would not be able to afford it if I had to do it at the Degree.

    Luckily I have not started yet and would have liked to have done the Degree so we will see what happens in two years time when I enter my third year to see if I can change. Many of us older applicants are only able to get in via the Diploma so I feel that to remove it completely without having the financial support available will definately result in less applicants for the profession in future years. Its got to be a case of better financial assistance either a bigger Bursary or a proper wage.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Having a degree does not make you a better nurse!!
    What about those of us who have been nursing for years without one - many of us have a wealth of experience, specialist courses / qualifications etc. Ask the patients what they think - most won't care as long as the nurse is caring, compassionate and knows what they are doing!!! You cannot learn how to run a busy ward in a university!
    a degree profession is usually paid MUCH more than an average nurse!!!!!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I am34 years old with 3 children aged 12, 7and 5, i left school no knowing what i wanted to do and only having 5 GCSE's above grade c and no A levels,

    I am now studying a nursing Diploma at the University of Central Lancashire and am about to enter my 3rd year. with the support of my tutors i am gaining good results.

    I would not have been able to achieve this without the diploma as i dont have the qualifications to study at degree level yet. Thank you UCLAN

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I started my nursing career as an enrolled nurse in the 80's, did a conversion course in the early 90's and now work as an OH nurse in industry. If this route wasn't available I wouldn't be where I am today.
    I meet lots of young people who would love to follow a career in nursing but are essentially barred because of the culture of 'academia' we are all exposed to. How / why does making everyone have degrees make us better nurses?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Jarvis states that individuals need to learn new knowledge to prevent the onset of alienation, or anomie, and lifelong learning – even lifelong education – may help them to adjust to cultural changes prelevant in their society.

    Nurses, practice in an environment, which is constantly changing. It has become vital that one develops own professional knowledge and competence to cope with these demands and the complexities of modern professional practice.

    The decision to make nursing in the UK a complete graduate profession is something which I would like to see happening world wide. I finished the SEN course back in 1989. I am now in my last year degree in nursing and must say that YES knowledge does make a nurse better in running a ward, to the contrary of what one correspondent has stated. We must continue to build on our previous knowledge.I cannot see why the nurse has to be the 'servant' of other health care professions. We are there to work in collaboration with other professionals. This is the way forward and we must be unite and make our profession as strong as ever.

    I have years of experience, however to be able to boost my experience I felt the need to upgrade my academic background. To be frank, I cannot see myself at a halt. Nursing is a most beautiful career. Should I be born again......I would repeat to my parents that , "I want to be a nurse!".

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Show 1020results per page

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.

Related Jobs