We all know that compassion, patience, kindness and care are just some of the traits that make a good nurse.
Jane Cummings even identifies compassion, care, commitment, courage, competence and comportment as primary traits that all nurses should have. But can these qualities be taught in a lecture theatre?
Degree training, or the need for good academic skills, does not appear to be mentioned in the new healthcare reform. Competence is as close as it comes, but being a competent nurse does not mean you need to be clever in the classroom, does it?
Yet degree training is becoming mandatory for all nurses in the UK. By making all nurses have a degree, is the profession in danger of losing it’s core values, such as the those mentioned by Jane Cummings? Is it possible that NHS nurses will become “too posh to wash”?
I have been made to feel slightly uncomfortable by other nurses when I have told them I am studying for a degree. They often retort, “didn’t need a degree in my day, plenty of good nurses aren’t academic”. It’s almost as though they are angry at the idea of a nursing degree and take it out on students who are studying for one.
Other student nurses I know have also been made to feel the same way. It’s almost as though we aren’t part of the team because we are too clever and not old school enough. Perhaps that is what the NHS needs to embrace, the “modern nurse”? I don’t think we can be stuck in the past when it comes to healthcare and nursing. After all, policies and guidelines change and evolve on a daily basis, and so should we as nurses, embracing modern practice.
Is nursing becoming too academic? Let us know your thoughts.