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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)

  • Yes I agree, the level we know work at warrents the proffesion becoming a degree only program, but how about paying us as a degree level profession!

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  • None of the comments in favour of the profession becoming an (even more) elitist quasi academic outpost of sociological (going by the Jarvis quote) thought has convinced me in any way that patient care will improve by forcing everyone into having a degree.

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  • I do partly agree with the comments that you do not necessarily need a degree to be a good nurse, however I think the acquisition of knowledge makes you an even better nurse and surely we must all strive to improve our profession year on year. The only way to move our profession forward is to learn and progress, and I think it is vital that nurse education moves forward too. I am all for nurses gaining degrees, at least it will prevent some of the highly unsuitable candidates who pass the current selection process and then prove so difficult to fail when they are on the wards. Prospective nurses will need to be dedicated to the profession and we may see a greater degree of professionalism and self discipline among nursing students, which I feel is sadly lacking in many of todays students.

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  • David Genese

    I realise that passing at degree level is a goal that all those with academic ability should aim for. However I estimate that up to 50% of excellent nurses currently practicing may have been deterred from entering the profession if the degree pathway was the only option. Furthermore I would not like to see the degree pathway watered down to accomodate people who have limited academic ability.

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  • I qualified back in 1993 so am an ' old RGN ' ( so what is going to come of us??). I have often thought about obtaining my degree but being part time with children I have put it off. Now it looks as though will have to complete one. But like already said we are not exactly paid well. Morale is very low and I know lots of young nurses with diplomas and degrees who want to leave nursing and / or the country! I don't blame them!

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  • T tell you the truth, I qualifed in 2000. I am the main wage earnr in my family and I have 2 kids to support. I CANNOT afford to do a degree. Its hard enough to survive the ost of living. think it is so unfair that the only people that seem to get on in nursing, ie any kind of promotion or specilaisation are the ones that have got the money to do a degree.

    Poorer, hard working and experenced nursing are being turned down for promotion in faour of better of people who have the wealt to do a degree.

    Bring back the days when you could work your way up in nursing with experience, not your bank balance.

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  • I have always believed that a degree does not make you a better nurse. The academic work is a barrier to some that would make excellent nurses. I will be the first to say that I am not an academic, but I'm an extremely competent nurse which comes down to years of experience. I did the old style training, qualifying in 1991 and probably would not have entered the profession had it been a degree course then. A degree cannot make up for experience.
    We should be careful what we wish for!

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  • I think that the term 'nursing' will have to be changed. Perhaps call it ? (any suggestions)!!?

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