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Surge in nurses pursuing higher education


More healthcare professionals are responding to the government’s shift of nursing towards an all graduate profession by choosing to study Diploma, Degree and Masters Programmes.

On the 9th July 2010, Education for Health held the graduation of another 25 healthcare professionals at a ceremony, which took place at St Mary’s Church, Warwick.

Chief executive at Education for Health, Monica Fletcher, commented:

“Many nursing roles are demanding, require an advanced level of practice and clinical knowledge and are key to supporting the QIPP agenda. The shift of nursing towards an all graduate profession gives due credit to this and the important role that nurses have inpreventing disease and disease progression through the highest quality care. Degree level education provides nurses with the decision making skills that they need to make high-level judgements in the changing NHS”

Jackie Walker from Cambridge, Karen Orr from Belfast and Jane McCarthy from Herefordshire, were just three of the graduates to receive awards this year.

Jane said: “I feel much more confident in practice now and have the ability to speak to patients about clinical issues with much more certainty”.

Dr Samantha Walker, director of education and research at Education for Health said:

“We’re very proud of our graduates who all leave us as committed, knowledgeable healthcare providers, able to stand by their clinical opinions and make a real difference to patient care. It’s rewarding to know that as the number of healthcare professionals graduating with us continues to rise, even more patients will benefit as these healthcare professionals harness new innovations and ideas to ensure that they deliver the highest quality care.”


Readers' comments (11)

  • Anyone considering further ed in nursing think v carefully and definitely consider your pantomime aversion strategies because you will need them more than anything else!!

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  • The general public do not recognise that nurses are these days required to go to university in order to qualify.

    I was working as a newly qualified staff nurse about 5 years ago and came across a relative of a patient who I knew. She said to me "Are you just working here during your uni holidays?" if being a staff nurse was something you just temporarily to earn a bit of extra cash, whilst you were studying for something else! I was gobsmacked.

    I've also been asked so many times "What do you do as a nurse, just give out paracetamol and make beds?" (if ONLY it were that easy). The public view of what nurses actually do never fails to amaze me, but they are always under the impression that you don't have a university education.

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  • Anonymous | 15-Jul-2010 2:42 pm that is an extremely important point, the public perception of us is seriously undermining the profession in my opinion. I have had those exact same responses in numerous forms and guises.

    This is an issue we need to address if we are to start fighting for better pay and working conditions.

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  • Martin Gray

    I seem to follow Mike around on the NT site, although not intentionally I hastened to add.

    Let's be honest here. How many people have seen or read anything in the media which actually informs the public as to how the nurse role has changed over the years? I don't mean the likes of Holby City, Casualty, and Angels ( or is it No Angels?) on the telly, which are so misleading and downright annoying in their representation of nursing.

    There was one programme which featured Joe Brand, the comedienne, which I never saw so cannot comment, and a reality programme that followed a celebrity as they worked as a nurse but never really mentioned how nurses go through training and what level of academia was required.

    It's high time a TV company made a documentary following the life of a few students, with differing circumstances, as they went through the diploma or degree course. Also doing a few days following nurses on different wards in a 'fly on the wall' style so there is no playing to the cameras. maybe then will the public realise just what we have to do to qualify nowadays, and (hopefully) earn us a little more respect than we seem to have.

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  • Martin - have a look online for a documentary series called "nursing the dream' following Scottish university students during the different levels of their training - excellent program - although i do agree - one following REAL staff nurses in un-edited and un -pr-spun real life nursing would maybe be a bit of an eye opener for the general public.

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  • or even - "nursing A dream" lol - my memory isnt what it used to be.

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  • Martin, don't worry I won't be getting out any restraining orders! Ha!

    I think you hit the nail on the head mate, the biggest problem is that the public perception of Nurses IS from ridiculous programmes like the ones you mentioned!

    That programme with Jo Brand was actually quite funny, but like you said in terms of realism it just did not get out to the public exactly what Nursing entails.

    Like you said we need media programmes like this to be a little more realistic (unfortunately the vast amount of sheep out there do have opinions that are formed through soaps and TV programmes!) and a few real documentaries can't hurt either. Although I think quite a few people will be bloody shocked!

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  • No wonder the public have such a poor perception of nurses if, as a professional, one needs to have 'pantomime aversion strategies' in order to get through education courses. Perhaps if all nurses took a really positive view on higher education (degree level education) and could see the point of it, then perhaps as a profession we might at last be taken seriously.

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  • its strange how comments in NT deviate away from the original article to totally different lines of argument
    the problem of going into higher education, even if it nurse-related, especially if you leave the bedside to do it, is that it can be extremely difficult to get back in, especially for older nurses who are then sometimes told that they are overqualified for the job!

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