It was unjustified and unnecessary because... and this is not rocket science... those nurses who wanted to pursue an academic path already had access to further development.
There were already existing degree paths in nursing science. Most Trusts already offerred financial support and study leave for their staff.
The UKCC - as it was then - were 'addressing a problem' which didn't actually exist.
The drive to academicize British nursing took one
entirely valid career option... and tried to make it the norm for the career development of all
In doing so, they managed to eradicate the State Enrolled Nurse discipline entirely - something that should have been entirely beyond their remit to decide.
It's not just my opinion that this was a retrograde step:
The re-introduction of non-RN para-nursing disciplines shows that the genuine, real-world need for clinically trained but sub-degree nursing staff still exists.
I thought it was horrifyingly obvious right from the get-go that the workplace gap left by the needless discontinuation of SE-nursing would have to be filled.
(Maybe I'm psychic...?)
Of course, the concern remains that AP's, ODA's etc are unregistered.
And the NMC stands ready to address that by floating ideas for registration of para-nursing staff!
At which point, the wheel will have turned full circle, and we will start looking elsewhere for new ways to flush the NHS budget down the macerator.
"Mopping fevered brows and giving out bedpans"? Really? Cheap shot, Madeline.
But let's turn it around: Do you really think all nurses need to be able to identify in which respects their clinical area satisfies Kolb's defined paradigm of the 'Behaviourally Complex Learning Environment'?
Yeah. That's going to heal a whole lot of venous ulcers.
But make no mistake - I was, and remain, firmly in favour of genuine advancement of Nursing as a profession.
In my opinion, however, academia was absolutely NOT the way to go.
I think the profession, and our patients, would have been much better served by a drive to advance clinical skills.
I'm happier working with nurses who may not
be able to define levels of abstraction in interactions between concepts - but who are not baffled when confronted with a vacuum-dressing set-up.
Less nursing theorists - more nurse prescribers!
Thing is, though... clinical skills are hard.
Hard to perform effectively, requiring regular practice to stay effective, taught and evaluated by highly skilled and experienced practitioners, and with actual, serious clinical repercussions when they go wrong.
Who wants that, right?
I mean, sure 'nursing wants to be taken seriously as a profession', but only insofar as we can achieve it by going and sitting in a classroom.