It may seem very naive of me to say this but when I started my nurse training back in September 2010, I didn’t really consider the academic process too much - I just wanted to be a nurse.
However, since then I have become more aware of the politics of education. In particular the fact that my intake is one of the last that will achieve our nursing status using a diploma course.
The group behind mine are entirely made up of students on the degree course and it feels a bit strange for me to be riding the crest of the diploma wave.
There is now a finite amount of times an unsuccessful student can be put back. A student may not have the ability to leave the diploma course and re-enter on the degree course.
There is also the financial issue. As a diploma student I am given a bursary which (just about) allows me to live as a student.
A student in my situation doing the degree course however would have their funds means tested and would in all likelihood result in a lot less money.
Finally, there is the recent discussion on the Nursing Times site which asked “should ward sisters/charge nurses have a first-class honours degree?”.
The debate over how much or how little a nurse needs to be educated will continue on but it is certainly a worrying time for students.
When my intake started the NHS seemed secure, jobs were aplenty and out of all of the complaints levied at nurses their level of education seemed quite low on that list - but today students need to worry more about education than ever before.
What do you think?