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'We may have to change the way we work in order to get a job'


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


Readers' comments (7)

  • First of all I'm sorry but there has been job uncertainty for years now to a greater or lesser degree; job freezes across many if not all trusts have been in place on and off for years!

    I think my future career as a Nurse IS a bright one, but only because I am emigrating to a country that respects public sector key workers and treats us well. This country and the NHS has been on a downward spiral for the past 10 years or more and it will not be getting better anytime soon.

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  • There will always be a need for nurses, the employer may change to a private provider, the terms and conditions and long terms contracts may be lost, but people will need nurses - whether enough people will want to do it is another thing. Good luck with finding a job.

    Where are you going Mike?

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  • Anonymous | 26-Sep-2010 10:19 am, you are right that Nurses will always be needed, we are key workers after all. However that does not mean that the jobs/respect/pay will automatically be there for us (as it should be). Those in charge seem to run on a backward circular mentality.

    And I'm heading over to Oz as soon as.

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  • there will always be jobs. Might not be the one you want - but it will be a job

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  • Anonymous | 2-Oct-2010 11:26 am, true enough, but isn't that missing the point slightly? We are not graduates in some non job arts degree, or working our way up stacking the shelves in Tesco, we are KEY WORKERS!!! The jobs/specialties should ALWAYS be available to us. What is the point in training great Nurses, who may be fantastic in A&E, or Surgical, or whatever specialties, only to have them rot in a job that holds little interest or challenge for them?

    Other professions recognise the potential of peoples individual talents and skills, why doesn't this one?

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  • Well if Nurses want jobs in A&E and ITU etc then then they must be that little bit MORE proactive in getting those posts. I cant listening to student nurses who constantly complain they cant get jobs. As said before there are Jobs out there you have to be proactive in getting the job YOU want as opposed to getting a JOB!

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  • I have been in the unenviable position of sifting through 80+ application forms for staff nurses and have to say that at least 65 of them will be appalling, not even referencing or relevant to the job they are applying for - just cut and pasted from some other application. I remember one candidate had written in the supporting statement that she/he was good at making beds with hospital corners!! I can't imagine that being something that you would ever want to write but this was an application for a community staff nurse post in health visiting! Anonymous 3/10 is right, whatever the situation there is no room for complacency and perhaps the nurse educators need to devote a couple of hours to filling in an application form.

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