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NHS nurses must have degree under new rules

(25 Posts)
MmeLindt Thu 12-Nov-09 08:27:26

Times article

There are so many wonderful nurses who would not have been able to become nurses if they had needed a degree.

While I agree that it is right that the status of nurses should be raised, I still think that this will put off a lot of potential nurses from training.

EccentricaGallumbits Thu 12-Nov-09 08:39:35

There are a lot of inaccuracies in that report and the comments angry!.

a nursing diploma is a 3 year course - same as a degree and the degree is not a huge amount more work.

The only difference is financial. If doing a diploma there is a non-means tested bursay, if doing a degree there is less financial help available - meaning if all student nurses were doing a degree the NHS who provide the bursaries would save a packet and less people would be able to afford to do it.

Just because a nurse has a degree does not make them too clever to care. nor does it stop them from giving quality personal care. The degree prepares nurses to think critically and enable them to access up to date research to back up their practice.

The NMC have been talking about making nursing an all degree prodfession for years.

In day to day practice it would probably make not a jot of difference. Nursing will still have the same problems with staffing shortages, targets, mindboggling paperwork, petty management bollocks and NHS shortcuts.

bamboostalks Thu 12-Nov-09 08:41:13

Most nurses who have entered the profession in the last 10 years have one anyway.

InterruptingKid Thu 12-Nov-09 10:58:02

crazy crazy
I can think of lots of kids i teach /have taught who have lots of qualities that are perfect b ut woudl never want to do a degree

Sparks Thu 12-Nov-09 11:26:28

I agree with bamboostalks. It's just formalising what is already happening.

nickelbabe Thu 12-Nov-09 11:28:46

i'm sitting o nthe fence in this case: i think there should be an administrative nursing degree (one that you go into if you want to do GP or prescribe in a hospital) and then the normal nursing qualification for normal nursing.

i know nurses who are absolutely brilliant nurses (ie patient care) but are not academically clever and therefore wouldn't be able to nurse under these proposals.

mosschops30 Thu 12-Nov-09 11:32:54

We have been degree only for nurses in wales for a few years now.
I was originally down to do the diploma but then had to do part of an access course because it became degree only.
Im glad i took the degree, most nurses who trained at diploma level, end up topping up to degree anyway.
Also it enables you to work abroad more easily, and nursing responsibilities are becoming heavier and heavier.

Think we are better off in Wales though as we got a bursary whilst doing the degree, this should be offered to all nurses doing the degree in the UK, otherwise people may be put off for financial reasons which is unfair IMHO

purpleduck Thu 12-Nov-09 11:35:53

Yes, its alraedy happening.
I ama careers advisor, and I have been telling students that by the time they finish college, nursing will need a degree.

Doesn't seem to be putting them off, and it is still very hands on.

MmeLindt Thu 12-Nov-09 12:47:56

Good to know that it is already working. I suppose the thing that will potentially put people off is the financial side of things.

funtimewincies Thu 12-Nov-09 13:47:49

It may raise the professional status of nurses, which can only be a good thing.

LovestheChaos Thu 12-Nov-09 16:32:59

Patients treated in hospitals with highly educated nurses providing direct patient care have higher survival rates and lower risks of complications.

Unfortunately NHS hospitals prefer to hire care assistants (very different from nurses). The few nurses on staff for a ward are responsible for everything for every patient whether they have 3 care assistants or 20 on duty with them.

As a Nurse to 6 patients you will be so overwhelmed with IV's, treatments, assessments, meds, trouble shooting and interruptions that you will be dealing with that stuff every minute of every hour. This is the case if you have 1 care assistant helping or 10. If you miss a change in condition or get a drug up late because you went off to help a care assistant with a bath you will be hung.

And even if you weren't overwhelmed with fire fighting there is no way you can provide basic care to everyone you are responsible for. It is impossible. I was a care assistant once. I thought that the nurses were dumping the basic care on me because they didn't want to be bothered. OMG NOW I UNDERSTAND!! I didn't back then and have gone back to apologize.

On average NHS staff nurses are 1 nurse to 10 patients and up on a general ward. More like 1 to 15.

These days patients are much more acutely ill, the stakes are higher and there are actually less real nurses and more untrained assistants on the wards thanks to managers wanting to save cash. Management isn't dumb. They know that the public is stupid enough to see 5 women in uniform on a ward and think that the shift is staffed with five "nurses". The public seems to use the word nurse to identify anyone who works in health care helping patients. That is really messed up.

Here is the research regarding degree educated nurses. Not to put down diploma nurses. Their course is very intense and turns out good nurses too. You will have to scroll down a bit.

Caring and empathy is great but not enough to make a good nurse. I know many caring and empathetic nurses who got people killed because they didn't think.

alwayslookingforanswers Thu 12-Nov-09 16:36:52

oh well there's DH's possibility of doing nursing out the window then. He had been cosidering mental health nursing in future, but we couldn't afford for him to do it without the financial help.

LovestheChaos Thu 12-Nov-09 16:44:05

To those of you saying "blah blah my friend wants to be a nurse but won't do the degree blah blah" tell your friend to become a health care assistant.

1.Health care assistants are being hired by the hospitals instead of nurses anymore because the people who run our hospitals are fucking dangerous.

2.Being a health care assistant is easier and more rewarding than being a nurse. No stress no responsibility. The nurse gets held accountable for anything you do or don't do. The patients love you because you are the one who has time to bring them a drink and clean them up. The patients think you are a nurse anyway.

3.Did I say no stress and no responsibility, no chance of being blamed for someone's death because you couldn't be 10 places at once?

4. No training required. They will hire you off the street.

5. The nurse who is running her tits off between 25 patients with only care assistants to help will get blamed for everything you do or don't do.

6. While the nurse has to stay on for 3 unpaid hours past the end of her shift because she helped you with the bedbaths rather then tending to the responsibilites that only she can deal will be going home on time. Not only is she staying over hours unpaid but she is getting blamed for someone's death because she was helping you bedbath rather than checking and reporting critical lab values.

Health care assistant is the way to go. I wish I had stayed one and never become a nurse.

alwayslookingforanswers Thu 12-Nov-09 16:49:21

what and get paid like shite? HCA get paid peanuts and treated like shite.

LovestheChaos Thu 12-Nov-09 16:52:02

Lots of RN's are willing to take the paycut, not renew their license and go back to being a health care assistant. People are doing it. It's sad.

The pay is shite and you do get treated like shit. But you don't get abused and treated like shit in the way that a nurse done. Believe me.

ladylush Thu 12-Nov-09 16:53:19

wow lovethechaos sad Have you considered changing your job? I felt the same way you do when I worked on a PICU but now that I've changed job I find my job rewarding again. Maybe you could try community?

ladylush Thu 12-Nov-09 16:55:57

Re the OP - I think raising the standard is well and good but salary should be raised as well. The NMC imho does little to fight for increased pay for nurses - especially compared with the GMC.

PutDown Thu 12-Nov-09 17:02:06

Lovesthechaos,do you work on my ward?grin
I trained 20 years ago and it was no picnic then.Plenty of academic stuff but alot ,a very lot,of ward work as well.
Agree re public perception of nurses/nursing.
Have just had a work experience girl with me and it has put her off for life!
She had no idea about the level of written work,drug checking/management,social work,counselling etc etc required.
All she could say was...'wow,it'slike Holby City'grin

LovestheChaos Thu 12-Nov-09 17:05:07

Ladylush I am changing careers. Two more shifts as a nurse and that is it I am out of healthcare. They are currently running my 30 bed acute ward with one or two nurses and one or two care assistants on duty and that is it. They aren't even HCA's they are untrained cadets in the exact same uniform that nurses wear. Usually it is one RN and two cadets.

The cadets do what they want. All of our patients are on multiple IV drugs. It is overwhelming being the only nurse and managing that all alone. The cadets wander about, have a gossip and give a few drinks out and the patients think that the cadets are the "nice Nurses" because they are the ones who "bother" to hand out cups of tea.

You can't possibly watch that cadets at all times and they constantly screw up. But the nurse has to take the blame because she is the only qualified person on duty.

For a year my colleagues and I have had the NMC, the healthcare commision, the RCN and unison of freaking speed dial. We put in the incidents forms. Nothing gets done. The patients and visitors have no idea whatsoever what is going on and get really abusive when their unrealistic expectations are not met.

Bye bye.

That's why I don't get this degree thing. They may make all nurses have degrees and that is a good thing. But management will still staff the ward with only one or two nurses and the rest untrained staff who are dressed as nurses and that is where the problems all lie.

scottishmummy Thu 12-Nov-09 18:23:05

most nurses i know have degrees already.
other hcp
Physio are all graduate professions so why not nursing too?

in scotland they are moving towards it
arts/music/drama therapy are all Post grad

nurses work hard and are skilled professionals.they are very capable

sunburntats Thu 12-Nov-09 18:41:34

Its not that bad tbh.
I qualified 16 years ago and did the old fashioned "traditional" training as it was known.

Ive just started my degree, i only need 4 modules as i have completed one when i got my teaching qual.
Im getting it 75% funded and doing one module at a time, ive got 5 years to complete it.
One module over 4 months, not too bad.
I could do one module a year if i wanted.
Its some thing ive been meaning to do so now i have the opportunity i would be daft to not do it.

Its the juggling home, child, full time job and study thats a bit of a squeeze!
Many of the nurses that i train now are more qualified than me, so i need to catch up.

alwayslookingforanswers Thu 12-Nov-09 18:55:49

I suppose it's just another way of making everyone think they have to have a degree to get anywhere in life, ie making other qualifications appear meaningless.

I hate this obsession with "everyone must go to University and have a degree" - WHY????? All these colleges that used to offer diploma's and other "advanced" qualification are being turned into Universities and churning out 1,000's of people with meaningless "degrees".

scottishmummy Thu 12-Nov-09 19:03:17

but graduates earn more than non-grads.trick is picking a vocational degree with established career path eg teaching,health,sw,architecture,engineering,accountancy

degree is something to be proud of it is a worthwhile achievement

of course many people are hard working,entrepreneurial and industrious without degrees too

alwayslookingforanswers Thu 12-Nov-09 19:16:11

well if they can get a job - granduate employment figures are hardly wonderful are they? And the numbers of graduates that are working and not getting "graduate" salaries are shocking from what I remember of the last thing in the news about it.

Believe it or not to gain other further education qualifications you generally have to work pretty hard as well. But they'r not valued in the same way anymore.

DH used to teach before he came to the UK. He had a diploma and was a very good at his job - how he got such high pass rates for his classes I will never know, they were "streamed" classes and he had the bottom 3 classes in 4th Grade (O level year) - out of 9 classes each had 35-40 pupils in it - so the kids he taught were sadly not very bright.

He looked into teaching again a few years ago and found that it simply wasn't an option we could afford as he couldn't afford to do the ITT and a degree.

He'll now have to rule out the Mental Health nursing as an option as well as degree would be out of reach financially for us.

There are also plenty of "muppet" graudates who are't even worth the piece of paper they hold so dearly. How exactly are people supposed to view degrees so highly when just about anyone can get on a degree course of some description, I remember when I was applying for University (so 12yrs ago) seeing several "1 C at A level" required to get onto courses in some of the new "Universities". I doubt the situation is any better now.

Degrees IMO no longer have the "status" that they once had. And other further qualifications are now often considered worthless despite some of them being substantially harder than some of the "easy" degrees.

alwayslookingforanswers Thu 12-Nov-09 19:28:13

anyhow - I'm now ranting on a different subject from the OP so I'll shut my gob and bugger off and harvest my crops on Facebook blush

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