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Reverse the decision that all new nurses will be required to have degrees

Comment 13th July 2010

The basic requirement for being a good nurse is surely to have a kind, caring personality, not an ability to write a good essay.  It is therefore hugely worrying that entirely uncaring, but academic people could soon qualify as nurses at the expense of those who are very caring and attentive, but do not have an aptitude for academic study. 

What is more, there is a very real possibility that some of those who get degrees will become ‘too posh to wash’ and think the traditional duties of a nurse below them.  This will do nobody any favours. 

On top of this, has any thought been given to how this ludicrous proposal will be funded?  There are surely only three possibilities, all of which are unpalatable:

  1. The government will fund this unnecessary extra education, through grants and subsidies, increasing the already gargantuan budget deficit, thus further exacerbating the economic woes of this country.  
  2. Nursing will become a career option which is only available to the wealthy, as they will be the only ones who can afford the training.
  3. Trainee nurses will be required to take out large loans, saddling them with huge debts that they may never pay off.

Clearly none of the above, or any combination of them, is in the slightest bit desirable from the point of view either of potential nurses or of society as a whole.

Why does this matter?

The requirement that all new nurses must have degrees is deeply flawed, as it will cost large sums of money, whilst having a high likelihood of actually decreasing the overall standard of care provided to patients.  This makes it indefensible both from an economic point of view and from the point of view of the standard of care given to patients.

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