Nursing in the UK

  1. :evil: I have had enough of being a nurse. I have been in the game now since 1997 and have worked my butt off for ten years in medical admissions, theatres, intensive care specialising in neurology and cardiac. I have worked all over the country and hopefully made a difference in countless peoples lives.... for what???

    Poor poor pay (I am a male and the main bread winner for a family with 3 kids) ain't happening.

    Horrendous conditions i.e. poor practice, lack of staff, abuse from patients as well as staff, unsafe environment, ridiculous pressure from managers and above, lack of appreciation, inability to perform to my full potential due to low staffing and other constraints, crap doctors (and nurses), severe LACK of knowledge from staff, massive sickness rate, disgusting hygiene, SERCO SUCK, no perks, no rewards, no support, no career progress, no ethics, no moral, all of this is has steadily worsened over the 10 years of my working as a nurse.

    We are getting sacked, frozen posts, working overtime unpaid claiming time back but cannot claim it back, running theatre lists on horrendous staffing levels, watching mistake after mistake and I keep thinking and praying my family or myself never ever have to come into hospital.

    The media and pr industry try their hardest to ensure we and the public do not take full notice of the steady decline and ensure we cannot or do not UNITE and make a stand to battle the bull s*&t.

    The RCN are such a complete waste of time and money, government lap dogs who fight like wet sponges, consider only themselves as a coorporation, are so slow and behind the times beacause they are OLD OLD OLD nurses submissive to the male authority figure and no idea or interest in fighting the ground forces corner. Man they wind me up, we need a proper union with balls of steel to stand and make a real battle for us.

    But lets not forget, we as nurse get no recognition or support from the government due to them being pedominantly MALE and nurses FEMALE so they think, hmmmm, they are caring by nature with their maternal instinct, why pay them, they should do this out of the kindness of their heart.

    The government suck, patricia hewitt sucks, the rcn sucks and the nhs sucks big time. Oh and by the way, forget about any other party making a difference, you vote means nothing in the future of the nhs. All my friends are leaving either nursing or the country and I am next, fingers crossed NZ here we come. Students, why train to enter a profession where if you look at recent history will not offer you anything but a life of stress, no future, no stability, sheesh you cannot even get a job once you have completed your degree, madness.

    I appreciate others may not agree with my opinion but most do in the hundreds of nurses I have come into contact with. There are exceptions, that one patient who reminded you of what it used to be like or could be, but it ain't ever gonna be like that. United we stand and divided we fall, we need to strike and forget the bull about ohhh what about your patients, what about US.
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   wannabeE.R.RN
    Many true words spoken in anger....
  4. by   KenyaNurse
    I am a US nurse. I was hoping to come and work there and see how different life. I am having secondthoughts about it now. there is nothing good being said about nursing in the UK. Could it be that bad?Every job has its ups and downs but the UK nurses seem to be running away.If there is still a UK nurse who can advice me if i should move or not I would be glad.furthermore I cannot understand what band and grade mean.its all greek
  5. by   suehp
    Quote from rachellewus
    I am a US nurse. I was hoping to come and work there and see how different life. I am having secondthoughts about it now. there is nothing good being said about nursing in the UK. Could it be that bad?Every job has its ups and downs but the UK nurses seem to be running away.If there is still a UK nurse who can advice me if i should move or not I would be glad.furthermore I cannot understand what band and grade mean.its all greek
    We cannot advise you not to go to the UK or go to the UK - it is your choice alone bearing in mind what research you have done about the country and the state of the NHS.....I wish you luck there....

    I left the UK mainly for a lot of reasons stated by the OP and I didnt work in the NHS and havent done since 1992. I am finding the pay in the US poor where I live but in comparison to the UK it is a lot better - I get paid just as much if not slightly more just to be a floor nurse compared to be ing a Manager back in the UK....I am lucky in the USA where I work as they do value thir staff and the pt's on the whole are great...you get good and bad whereever you are.

    Good Luck....
  6. by   XB9S
    Rachel, I love working in the NHS and have done since 1988 I can't think of any area I have worked in that I haven't enjoyed. Things are not brilliant at the moment but it is not that different to when I qualified it soon improved. It has been said here before that it seems to be cyclical there are good times and then some really bad times.

    It is not a good time for international nurses to try to get employment here but that may well change (it has done in the past)

    There are some good areas to work and some that are not so good so do your homework before you decide.

    I have looked through some of the American threads and it would seem that there are difficulties there as well in certain areas, I think this will be the same whereever you work.
  7. by   Silverdragon102
    Quote from rachellewus
    I am a US nurse. I was hoping to come and work there and see how different life. I am having secondthoughts about it now. there is nothing good being said about nursing in the UK. Could it be that bad?Every job has its ups and downs but the UK nurses seem to be running away.If there is still a UK nurse who can advice me if i should move or not I would be glad.furthermore I cannot understand what band and grade mean.its all greek
    at the moment I think you will find it very hard to get a work permit to work in the UK as requirements as UK then EU before elsewhere in the world,plus you have to meet all requirements of foreign trained nurse, everything available under the overseas section on the nmc website. Nursing is going through a bit of a crisis at the moment with nurses jobs really being affected involving layoffs and jobs not being replaced when nurses leave. Banding and grading is all to do with payscale and more information can be found on the rcn website and at what scale you would start as a nurse.

    Hope this helps
  8. by   XB9S
    I have read through your post several times and you obviously are having a really difficult time, but you seem to have given up which is a shame. There were a few things that you said that I do think are unfair and generalistic and as a nurse in the NHS I can only take them personally because of the general nature of your post.


    Quote from nutrix
    :evil: I have had enough of being a nurse. I have been in the game now since 1997 and have worked my butt off for ten years in medical admissions, theatres, intensive care specialising in neurology and cardiac. I have worked all over the country and hopefully made a difference in countless peoples lives.... for what???
    If you have made a difference which I am sure you have then you have improved the care and experience of these people, surely that counts for something.

    Quote from nutrix
    Poor poor pay (I am a male and the main bread winner for a family with 3 kids) ain't happening.
    You don't have to be male to be the main bread winner and although the pay isn't brilliant I do think it depends where you work. I live in an area where house prices are affordable therefore my pay is relatively good


    Quote from nutrix
    Horrendous conditions i.e. poor practice, lack of staff, abuse from patients as well as staff, unsafe environment, ridiculous pressure from managers and above, lack of appreciation, inability to perform to my full potential due to low staffing and other constraints, crap doctors (and nurses), severe LACK of knowledge from staff, massive sickness rate, disgusting hygiene, SERCO SUCK, no perks, no rewards, no support, no career progress, no ethics, no moral, all of this is has steadily worsened over the 10 years of my working as a nurse.
    As I said at the start, your post is very general and therefore as a nurse wihtin the NHS I find this quite insulting. I and most of my fellow nurses try to provide the very best nursing care we can provide, there is a lack of staff and yes inevitable we get abusive patients, these are reported and sometimes it feels as if all we do is complain but then without the complaints and incident reports management cannot act. I am a nurse manager and I try to let my staff know that I appreciate their efforts especially during difficult times and poor staffing. As far as Crap doctors and nurses, not ethics, go again this is very general and I think unfair, yes there are a minority who have poor practice but I really believe that this is a minority.

    We are getting sacked, frozen posts, working overtime unpaid claiming time back but cannot claim it back, running theatre lists on horrendous staffing levels, watching mistake after mistake and I keep thinking and praying my family or myself never ever have to come into hospital.
    yes this is happening but it is not so different to when I qualified it did improve.


    I appreciate others may not agree with my opinion but most do in the hundreds of nurses I have come into contact with. There are exceptions, that one patient who reminded you of what it used to be like or could be, but it ain't ever gonna be like that. United we stand and divided we fall, we need to strike and forget the bull about ohhh what about your patients, what about US.
    I am not saying that things are not difficult and I would agree that nurses do need to take a more unitied stance on what they want I personally wouldn't strike it is not something that I feel comfortable with and that is not because I am a supressed female but I do think that there are other ways to achieve your aims. I don't think that we are particulary good in speaking management and financial speak when we ask for extra staff or now equipment, we know why we need them but don't articulate that to the people with the purse strings, we need to be able to provide solid tangible evidence that what we need is neccassary and be able to justify what we want. As part of my job I occasionally have to authorise bank staff and I have to justify that without this it presents a clinical risk, my manager doesn't want blood she wants to be able to justify the overspend to her boss so I collect the evidence and justify it - it may only be as simple as we have 4 patients at high risk of falls.

    As I say it is not perfect and there are days when I feel like I am running around in circles but I personally wouldn't want to be anything other than a nurse.
  9. by   nutrix
    Hi,

    I respect your opinion and understand totally that this is most certainly not the case for every nurse. I am aware that males obviously do not have to be the main bread winner, however, as I have stated I am. Also most of us in our late twenties early thirties have had great difficulty getting onto the property ladder (a generalised statement I am confident in making) and therefore with mortgages greatly disproportionate to our wages. This is my perspective reflecting my experiences and emotions, airing to the general nurse interested in reading.

    C'mon, you try your best, abuse happens, sometimes it feels like all you do is complain...This is my exact point, we follow the protocol and things do not change otherwise you would not feel like all you seem to do is complain. We stand on the front line, take the flack, thats our role, take it or leave it.

    Hey, text on computers and phones are very difficult to read emotion and although I am majorly vexed with nursing at the moment I know it is not perfect and I know that there are good days and bad, also you managers are trying your damned hardest but this goes further than justifying cost and this is my overall point. We have been tunnelled into the train of thought that you describe so clearly in your final paragraph, the financial authorisation, our inability to articultate to these pivotal figures holding the purse strings... we miss or disregard the bigger picture of our overall working practice consisting of working conditions, pay, inability to provide basic nursing care etc, this is not everywhere and in all hospitals true, but for it to even be such a significant issue in this developed country at all is a concern.

    I aim not to generalise but can appreciate how that may have been perceived. Like all professions there are good and bad, but the bad stand out a hell of a lot more when it comes to patient safety in their hands.

    But the fact cannot be avoided that standards have slipped, paper works governs our daily practice and thus removes our valuable time with the patients, plus all of the other factors which also have the same impact.

    I am glad you have the content mindset within your career but I would make a general statement that most are not, and most of the unhappy (generalising) are the breadwinners i.e. do not have financial support from a partner or parents, work in a busy nhs acute area and are in early to mid stages of their career.

    Please let me clarify, whether it is taken personally or not that it is not meant to be a generalisation, my thoughts, my experience and my rant end of, and I respect the workforce out there who are truly satisfied with their nursing career, almost envious
    Last edit by nutrix on Apr 17, '07 : Reason: grammer
  10. by   Tanvi Tusti
    I just need to say my peace here. I am a UK nurse working in Australia at the minute. I have worked in France and lived in the US too. Sure, the NHS has its problems, (has on and off over the years as I remember), but so does everywhere else.
    I was lucky in the UK to have worked in primary care before coming here, and certainly, in my trust, we never saw the brunt of any of the problems in the NHS. My post was well paid, there seemed to be infinate resources and people were happy with their working conditions. I spent some time working with nurses in secondary care, as my post included that of link worker, so I did see some of the discontent. However, I don't think things are quite as bad as your post would suggest all over the UK. I was working in the North West so I can't comment on conditions in your area, but I really believe that you are painting a very damning image of nursing in the UK, that isn't at all true.
    Most of the nurses I worked with, although overworked, were highly competent practitioners. I have been nursing for over 16 years and have never seen nursing in the way you portray it. Most people have nothing but praise for nurses, how well they cope under stressful conditions, etc. Sure there are some abusive patients, but you get that anywhere. At least in the UK they haven't stooped to the low level of tying patients down!
    Im not saying the NHS doesn't have its problems, but until you have lived and worked in other countries and seen the kind of problems people face there, you won't appreciate the benefits that having a national health service brings. I have many doctor friends (several from Germany) who have made the move to the UK, just because of that reason. Try to see some of the positives rather than all the negatives, because believe me, there are plenty.
  11. by   XB9S
    Quote from nutrix
    Hi,
    Hey, text on computers and phones are very difficult to read emotion and although I am majorly vexed with nursing at the moment I know it is not perfect and I know that there are good days and bad, also you managers are trying your damned hardest but this goes further than justifying cost and this is my overall point. We have been tunnelled into the train of thought that you describe so clearly in your final paragraph, the financial authorisation, our inability to articultate to these pivotal figures holding the purse strings... we miss or disregard the bigger picture of our overall working practice consisting of working conditions, pay, inability to provide basic nursing care etc, this is not everywhere and in all hospitals true, but for it to even be such a significant issue in this developed country at all is a concern.
    You are right with text on computers it is difficult to read emotions so I won't be insulted at your "You Managers" comment because I am unsure if this statement is supposed to be derogatory or not.

    I am happy with my work, pay and conditions. I have a very supportive managment and nursing team and we have been successful in articulating those things that you believe detracts from the bigger picture and gained funding for improved patient safetly initiatives, we have been funded to improve the basics of nursing care and we have been funded for nurse led clinics, this isn't in a small area either it is within one of the biggest trusts in the country.

    It hasn't been easy getting it right but it is very rewarding and satisfying to know that along with the rest of my team I have been able to make a difference to the care I can give to my patients. After all that was the main reason that I wanted to be a nurse.
    Last edit by XB9S on Apr 19, '07
  12. by   madwife2002
    I left the Uk 18 months ago just when things were getting difficult, I didnt leave the UK because of nursing I wanted to live in the US and nursing enabled me to do it. I have to say many of the problems encountered in the UK are the same over here, you still meet rude, demanding patients here who have will report you and sue quicker than you can tuen around. You still see overworked staff more than you can imagine, burn out is as rife. No breaks, Doctors speaking to you like you are s**t on their shoes, and mistakes being made left right and centre.
    I firmly believe that no country manages their health care perfectly and the more we improve quality of life, the more is expected of the nursing staff. Another thoery of mine is that nursing no longer always attracts the right sort of people anymore now I do expect to get grief for this statement but I am going to say it anyway- I think a certain kind of nurse is attracted by money and they think that nursing pays good money so they come into the job for that reason, but they really cant stand the heat and dont have the ability to perform the whole job.
  13. by   nutrix
    ...overworked staff more than you can imagine, burn out is as rife. No breaks, Doctors speaking to you like you are s**t on their shoes, and mistakes being made left right and centre...
    Interesting view madwife2002, and a fair summary of what nursing is about. I think you have highlighted 2 crucial points of why people would be mad to contemplate coming into nursing now. The first is your quoted statement above and the second is if anyone thinks that nursing pays good money ???? Heres a lovely example of how nurses got left behind when other public services got brought up to the pay standard representing the work they perform. A HCA colleague of mine earned approx 10000 pa, she had worked in the field for 7 years. She decided that the police force was for her and joined up, within 6 months she was on 1000 pa less than me (myself F grade) and then 6 months later was on 1000 more than me? hmmm...teenagers you decide
  14. by   karenG
    Quote from madwife2002
    I
    I do expect to get grief for this statement but I am going to say it anyway- I think a certain kind of nurse is attracted by money and they think that nursing pays good money so they come into the job for that reason, but they really cant stand the heat and dont have the ability to perform the whole job.

    ah.. I tend to agree with you. I've been in nursing for nearly 30yrs now.. I trained in the bad old days when we had a matron (who would inspect you and send you home if you didnt look like a nurse!).

    Nursing is going through a bad patch.. many reasons for that. The whole health service is in a state of change and change is not easy on anyone. I dont have any answers.. less admin staff maybe and more nurses on the wards???

    I would comment that many of the student nurses I come into contact (I'm a clinical practice teacher) have little idea of the reality of nursing and many seem shocked by the hands on stuff.. yes I still get on my knees to do leg ulcer dressings. Many are not equiped to deal with the reality of sick people. This may be a fault in the training.. not sure. But with the loss on many experiances nurses.. who are looking to go abroad or just swap jobs, who is there to teach our newbies? this in turn will have an impact on the quality of nursing.........

    this is beginning to feel like a chicken and egg senario.. but why stay in nursing if you can earn considerably more in another job without the hassle and worry.. and trust me.. you always worry about patients..I still do! I dont know the answer.. wish i did.

    Karen

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