In reply to Anonymous @19 May 2017 6:47 :
I would argue that we need both - a rigorous academic background that a bachelors degree offers and the technical nursing skills and competencies of nurse training in the 70s and 80s. Performing a task without a thorough evidence base grounded in scientific research will not pass the scrutiny of the expert patient of the 21 century.
I was recently on a 3 month Erasmus stint abroad in Europe as a nursing student and I was shocked at the high level of technical competence of their nursing assistants and registered nurses.
They did almost everything from cannulation to IVs to injections to NG feeds to dressings and care of tracheostomy tube etc. It was a shocker. I felt so inadequate especially when their first year nursing students were being mentored and supervised to undertake these tasks as well.
What I did find however was that when I sought to understand or questioned the rationale as to why things were done in a particular way, they could not in most cases back it up with an evidence base. This was my experience in different clinical placements across 3 hospitals
My conclusion based on my limited experience was that our nursing education here in the Uk provided a solid academic background but is woefully lacking in technical nursing skill training.
Why should a qualified staff nurse wait for a Nurse practitioner or FY1 to cannulate a patient that desperately needs an infusion set up or indeed to catheterise a patient who has not passed urine over 36-48hrs and is shown to have bladder retention.
I consider it a waste of resources for the NHS to spend over £30k on student bursaries to train nurses who are not prepared to deal with real life scenarios on the ward.
However I echo a point made earlier. Nursing has moved on, a lot more is demanded of nurses more than ever before. The Agenda for change is now obsolete .Its time to revisit the pay structure for the nursing profession.
The downbanding of NHS staff has reached tipping point. Piling on more responsibilities for the same band or shifting more responsibilities to a lower band is killing staff morale. And most are voting with their feet and walking away from it all.
I genuinely believe that for this Magnet Philosophy to fully catch on here in the UK , nursing must be recognised and compensated likewise as profession and not just a vocation. It must be seen as a career and not just a job like one of the earlier commentators said. This implies paying a professional salary to nurses that is at par with countries like the US, Canada and Australia. A sense of empowerment felt by nurses in the US is in part attributable to the financial security arising from a decent wage.
I have always thought nursing education in the UK could borrow a leaf from the US and Canadian model. Yes patient care is not just biomedical, however I think we have taken the psychosocial model too far. If Nurses are going to be taken seriously by other allied health professionals especially in our new roles as Advanced Nurse Practitioners, Nurse Consultants etc , then indeed we must embrace tutorship in the fundamentals of biomedical medicine like pharmacology, pathophysiology, anatomy and clinical laboratory science . In a world of increasingly super informed patients,we must brace up for the intellectual challenges of being a 21st century Nurse.
I should add however that this increasing responsibility and expectation must be matched with a comensurate NHS pay structure. The current agenda for change pay structure has outlived it's shelf life.Without a dignified remuneration that reflects the depth and complexity of the Bsc Nursing degree and the intense front line nature of the work nurses do, then am afraid we will fail to inspire a new generation of nurses to pursue nursing as a career.