Nursing Times blogger Stuart Young wonders why, after listening to Andrew Lansley in conversation with the RCN, he now has more questions than answers surrounding his future.
I qualify in eleven months time, I live in the second city and go to one of the two Universities that offer pre-registration nursing courses. I am one of a cohort that is over 400 people strong, all heading towards our pin numbers.
There is as always a great expectation among my peers that there will be jobs for us all at the end of our training, but with the tightening of financial purse strings and the current economic climate, it makes me unsure that there will be enough vacancies for all of us who are due to qualify in the city. Even though so many nurses are retiring there is no guarantee these posts will be always be filled.
Although I am a mature student I am lucky that at the moment I have no real ties to the city I live in, I have no children, no partner whose job we need to stay close to and no mortgage so I have the ability to travel and to relocate if needed. Many of my friends do not have such luxuries
I see myself working in the acute setting, ideally in a surgical environment as do many student nurses across the country and I do not see myself working in the community. However I am increasing more aware that the status quo is changing from care being delivered in the acute setting to that of the community and many of us may have to change our aspirations and ideas of where we want to work and the ways in which we work in order to get a job.
I believe the future of the NHS and the profession I am part of is a bright one. There are openings at the very top of the organisations that look after our patients as long as we can find skilled employment within the health care sector in the first place. Along with the white paper making many key new concepts available to all members of our profession, however the proof will be in the fine detail that follows the white paper.
With frontline first I know we can work with the government to, as Andrew Lansley put it today, “Shape the quality of care to our patients”.
About the author
Stuart Young is a third year student nurse and RCN student member of council