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London nursing entry requirments not linked to course quality


Entry requirements for adult nursing courses in London appear to bear little relation to their quality, according to the latest performance ratings.

The course with the lowest entry requirements in the capital has been ranked above the two with the highest requirements in the league tables for 2009-10 published last week by the strategic health authority NHS London (see left).

The Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery, King’s College London, which has the country’s highest entry requirements – it will ask for 320 University College Admission Service (UCAS) points next year – was ranked number six in London.

City University, which has the second highest entry requirement in the capital – 280 UCAS points – was ranked five.

This compares to Middlesex University, which has the lowest entry requirements in London, at number three – 160 UCAS points.

It is the third year NHS London has published the contract performance management assessment (CPM), ratings indicating whether courses are “fit for purpose”, provide value for money to the SHA and ensure that students graduating have the right skills to be employed by the NHS.

The SHA rates universities either red (serious concerns), low amber (several concerns), high amber (a few concerns) or green (no significant concerns) on provision of education in adult, child, mental health, and learning disabilities nursing and also midwifery.

The CPM is separate to the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s course ratings, which focus more on the quality of teaching provided.

Greenwich University is ranked number one for adult nursing, and London South Bank University number two in the SHA’s ratings.

The worst rated institutions are the University of Hertfordshire and the University of West London. No adult nursing courses were rated as either green or red.

Kingston and St George’s was ranked top for child nursing and learning disabilities nursing, while Middlesex is number one for mental health and King’s College for midwifery.

The University of West London – formerly Thames Valley University – was ranked bottom for child nursing, mental health and midwifery, and Hertfordshire for learning disabilities.

Professor Alison While, associate dean of the Florence Nightingale School of Nursing & Midwifery, King’s College, said: “We would like to emphasise that while the CPM rankings are a useful exercise, they are not multi-factorial, taking into account areas such as educational quality and student satisfaction, which can offer a more comprehensive view of an institution’s performance.”

A Nursing Times investigation revealed last week that almost two-thirds of colleges offering nursing degrees are raising their entry requirements due to unprecedented demand for places.


Readers' comments (7)

  • As long as courses produce competent and caring nurses the entry requirements are possibly not the highest priority on the public's mind. Nurses are like wine. Most are OK but there are some very much better than others!

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  • here here!

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  • "almost two-thirds of colleges offering nursing degrees are raising their entry requirements due to unprecedented demand for places". It does make me wonder if people are entering nursing for the right reasons??

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  • to put another slant on this..We accept foreign students, is there training as other words do we know what level of training we are accepting? As a National HS, should patients not expect a National level of training for nurses?

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  • sorry, should have read 'their' not there

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  • This supports my thoughts that intelligence, empathy and "can do" attitude are not related.

    I seem to recall a TV programme where, at St Georges Medical School in London they accepted an intake of medical students with ANY degree. One dropped out and the next in line was an nurse with a Class 3 degree in Geography. She came out top at end of year one I think? Maybe someone else recalls more detail?

    Anyway, the sooner ANY profession realises that straight A's in A levels or a "1st" in the degree world is NO guarantee the job will be done better.

    We focus far too much on academic intelligence, not a balance, and like many other things, one person with something at the extreme, often is deficient at the other.

    I failed English Language O level twice and scraped a pass on the 3rd attempt, yet I have scored highly on what was the old General Nursing COuncil test that got me into being a pupil nurse. I was drawn to one side and told I had the highest mark the school had so far and that I should be a student.

    I think nursing and medicine would benefit from being less academically focused and more flexible and progressive where there is facility for people to start as HCA and show their worth and inclination en route through their career.

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  • The only problem is that the most caring people may not be the most academic person

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