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Student nurses need training in 'entrepreneurship'


Nurses should be trained in entrepreneurship as part of degrees in order to overcome barriers to social enterprise schemes, according to research part-funded by the Cabinet Office.

The Birmingham University study said such training must be part of the core curriculum if social enterprises run by clinicians were to play a significant role in the new-look NHS.

The coalition government has stressed its support for social enterprises as part of its health reforms. However, the first large nurse-led social enterprise scheme, set up in 2006 as Central Surrey Health, remains the only real example of its kind.

The study looked at the previous government’s now defunct “Right to Request” scheme which was intended to encourage public sector staff to set up social enterprises.

Researchers found nurses and other clinicians struggled to develop social enterprises beyond their initial idea, and then felt “isolated” when they did progress further.

The findings chime with previous warnings from Queen’s Nursing Institute director Rosemary Cook that lack of support for nurse entrepreneurs within nursing was holding back innovation (news, page 1, 3 February 2009).

Responding to the Birmingham study, Ms Cook said she was unsure training in social entrepreneurship was need at pre-registration level but said it should be more widely available for registered nurses.

She said: “Some nurses have set up social enterprises and they say it is the best thing they have ever done, but for many nurses it is a completely alien culture.”


Readers' comments (10)

  • Good lord what witless guff is this?

    En-tre-pre-neur-ship !*~#+%

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  • What a load of absolute cack! Student Nurses need A&P, clinical skills, medical and pharmacological knowledge, NOT bloody entrepreneurship training! There are enough fluff subjects in the training as it is!

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  • During this difficult time, when services and care are so viciously being scaled back, the nusing profession is in the media for all the wrong reasons, and so many changes are looming on the horizon, would it not be prudent to just go back to basics. Lets just reflect on what a nurse really needs to know, and concentrate on delivering an education that is value for money and most importantly produces motivated, intelligent, thoughtful and caring professionals.

    This may be of use to those pursuing a job in senior management as they progress in their career, but it is a complete waste of time for student nurses!

    I will be a nursing student later this year and would question the validity and worth of a module in entrepreneurship and would loudly ask the question - HAS THE NHS NOT GOT SOMETHING BETTER TO SPEND THEIR MONEY ON???????

    (by the way, as an answer to this, I might suggest investing in functioning kitchens to avoid lining sodexho's pockets further and preventing patients from becoming malnutritioned IN hospital

    I would also suggest a complete re-evaluation of dementia training. Over 800000 people currenty suffer from Dementia and yet training for student nurses and nursing assistants is woefully inadequate.)

    I imagine other readers could could up with plenty of their own suggestions.

    Please treat this survey with the disdain it deserves and let's turn our attention to more pressing issues.

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  • any other bright suggestions?

    is this really needed for basic bedside care where the real shortage lies?

    perhaps it could be a post diploma optional extra later in a career if nurses need this qualification and perhaps who is going to fund it should be seriously considered.

    What is it for any way and how does it relate to general nursing in the NHS?

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  • "...for many nurses it is a completely alien culture.”"

    Will the nurses involved in this 'alien culture' be too posh to wash?

    Perhaps they should have a different title to match this new role as 'nurse' is indicative of specific skills.

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  • Is it any wonder the NHS is experiencing the difficulties that it is in providing good quality nursing care when we have another crackpot idea.

    I am absolutely certain that at a time when Universities are having their funding cut that they will need to come up with ideas like this.

    I have no doubt that at some point in a nurses career, any additonal elements of training would be useful for some, but certainly not for everyone. So lets just shelve this idea until we have fixed the ills of our crumbling health service.

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  • above

    but people in authority and government departments are always full of crazy and impractical ideas, and even more so at times when radical cut backs have to be made and everybody else is seriously struggling to keep above water. I cannot imagine what goes into their intellectual idea generating minds. It must be related to the full moon or to Sod's Law!

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  • I think it would be good for nurses to operate their own health care institutes.
    I always wonder, why there are little or no nurses owning and operating nursing homes or other health provisions. We need nurses who are rich to pump money into new system not controlled or run by the NHS.

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  • Phil Dup

    hahahahahahaha ............. on the basis that you've got to laugh else you'd cry....... what fluff brained overpaid ' ideas ' person came up with this guff !!!

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    Nurses need to learn how to be entrepreneurs!? No they don't.

    University buffoons need to stick to their nerdy topics and leave nursing alone.......dweebsville!

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