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What were your favourite nursing stories of 2015?

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This year has seen a host of major nursing stories, with reviews of nurse education, the go-ahead for new competency checks, increasing pressure on staffing and many more.

But which ones were most popular with Nursing Times readers? Our online team and crunched the numbers to come up with the top 10 most read stories on during 2015.

As a guide, the best read stories covered the introduction of revalidation, latest pay bandings, new caps on agency spending, the end of student bursaries and the creation of the “associate nurse” role.



1. Chancellor Confirms Nurse Education Funding Reform

George osborne

George osborne

Chancellor George Osborne has confirmed that nurse education will in future be funded via a system of loans, rather than bursaries. The move, announced in the government’s comprehensive spending review, had been expected in the wake of revelations about a major cash injection for the NHS in England. Read the full story…

  • Number of page views: 25,444



2. Details of New Pay Bandings Published After Deal Goes Through



NHS trusts have been sent details of the remuneration that nursing staff and the rest of the workforce on Agenda for Change can expect from 1 April. The Pay and Conditions circular, published by NHE Employers, sets out the pay arrangements for NHS staff covered by Agenda for Change, which apply between 1 April 2015 and 31 March 2016. Read the full story…

  • Number of page views: 25,202


3. NMC Releases Draft Guidance and Standards for Revalidation

Gesticulating hands in meeting

Meeting, boardroom

Provisional standards for the forthcoming system of competency checks that will allow nurses and midwives to renew their registration every three years have been released by the Nursing and Midwifery Council. The new system of revalidation replaces the current process of post registration education and practice (PREP) and comes into effect on 31 December. Read the full story…

  • Number of page views: 20,277


4. Exclusive: New ‘Associate Nurse’ Role Set to be Created

Assistant practitioner

Assistant practitioner

Government plans to introduce a new nursing role designed to bridge the gap between registered nurses and senior healthcare assistants are to be launched in the coming weeks, Nursing Times has learnt. An announcement on the creation of the new role is expected to be followed by a consultation shortly afterwards. Read the full story…

  • Number of page views: 9, 760


5. Exclusive: HCAs to be offered faster nursing degree courses

healthcare workers

healthcare workers

A renewed focus on fast-track nurse degree training for healthcare assistants is to be introduced by Health Education England, following a major review of education and training. The move is expected to have the double effect of improving career options for HCAs – long seen as an issue for the health service – and as a means of speeding up the supply of home-grown nurses to help deal with the current shortage in registrants. Read the full story…

  • Number of page views: 8,112


6. Registration in England Facing Possibility of ‘two-tier’ Revalidation


The full introduction of revalidation for nurses and midwives could be delayed in England for two years due to government fears about the current state of NHS finances, Nursing Times can reveal. The roll-out of a major new system of competency checks, due to be implemented from April, appears to be in chaos, despite being rubber-stamped by the NMC council on 8 October. Read the full story…

  • Number of page views: 7,340


7. NHS to get £4bn Budget Rise but Student Nurse Bursaries Set to Go

George Osborne

George Osborne

Tomorrow’s comprehensive spending review will give NHS England a real terms increase to its budget of nearly £4bn in 2016-17, but is expected to see further cuts to public health and an end to free nurse education. The plan to give NHS England £3.8bn of real terms growth next year represents a significant frontloading of the £8.4bn promised over the coming half decade. Read the full story…

  • Number of page views: 7,251


8. Pay cap on agency nursing to be introduced, says Hunt

Jeremy hunt new website

Jeremy hunt new website

Caps on rates of pay for agency nurses will be introduced from next week, under new government rules that aim to reduce NHS spending on temporary staff and encourage trusts to employ more permanent workers. They will only allow NHS organisations to recruit non-permanent staff from approved agencies, and will place a cap on total agency staffing spend for trusts in financial difficulty. Read the full story…

  • Number of page views: 6,657


9. Government reveals pay cap for agency nursing staff

Money cash finance

Money cash finance

The hourly rate the NHS can pay agency staff will be capped at 55% above the pay levels of permanent staff, under plans announced by the Department of Health. The cap will be phased in for clinical staff, including doctors and nurses, from 23 November, subject to a consultation. Read the full story…

  • Number of page views: 5,427


10. Regulators reveal new hourly pay rates for agency nurses


money coins

Monitor and the NHS Trust Development Authority have published details this afternoon of the hourly rates that NHS trusts will be allowed to pay agency staff from Monday. In a key concession to the provider sector the regulators have decided to exclude bank staff from the hourly rates cap although this could be brought in at a later date if the cost of bank shifts rises significantly. Read the full story…

  • Number of page views: 4,347
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