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Nursing to be all degree in England..

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by madeleine madeleine (New Member) New Member

madeleine works as a Dermatology Nurse.

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No doubt you've all heard about this now. What do you think? Listening to Jeremy Vine on Radio 2 today, it seems a lot are against - both 'public' and nurses. Mr Vine actually said 'do you need a degree to care?'. The general tone of the phone ins makes me think that people still think that our job is bedpans and mopping fevered brows! Nothing wrong with that but why can't people realise that, as in their own environment, equipment etc. is ever more technical. Also, we need to know a huge amount about pharmacology. They expect their doctor to be highly qualified so why not the nurses? I could write reams about the need for nurses to have a wide knowledge base but don't want to bore you :) What I can't understand is why people think that a degree nurse has no practical experience.

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Silverdragon102 has 30 years experience as a BSN and works as a Registered Nurse.

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My dad sent me an email this morning on this saying what was written in The Times. As you know nurses only need caring compassion to nurse doesn't matter that we have. as you say, a need to know a lot more in other areas like Medication, medical equipment, Infection control issues, time management (well we know we aren't great in that aspect as not enough staff already for good time management) etc. I see in The Times they are talking about a “cumulative” degree for those, like me, that trained back in the dinosaurs but would be interested to see how that pans out

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/health/article6914903.ece

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RGN1 works as a RN.

11,281 Visitors; 1,700 Posts

Be interested to hear what they mean by "accumulative degree" for those of us who trained the "old fashioned way". I wonder if I would be able to take advantage of that even though I now live abroad?

I do think that experience should count for something too & I have 12 years of it!! Will watch this space with interest.

Though I have to say my personal experience of degree nurses has not been positive, not because of the students themsleves (though I have met a few "unusual" characters) but because of the dreadful courses that they are being trained on.

On the other hand I have been very impressed with the training that Canadian nurses get. They really seem to have hit on a great balance between theory & pracitcal. The students do plenty of good theory but also spend quality time on wards where they have a clinical nurse tutor who does the shift with them & guides them through. They are treated fairly toughly but the training is good & thorough & they are very knowledgeable. It all ends in a long stretch of shifts where they are paired with one nurse (who has done a preceptor course) who is their mentor & they work almost exclusively (only vacation/sick days meaning they work with another) with that nurse, taking the same roster.

Also they can work on the wards once they are in their last year where they can do almost everything bar a few skills (with a named RN as their resource) That means they are really well prepared once they graduate.

I think the UK should take a long hard look at what other countries do with their graduate nurse training because many of their Universities are simply not cutting it.

I accept this is a generlisation but it's not said without a fair number of years experience behind it.

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Fiona59 has 18 years experience.

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I wouldn't say that the Canadian model is the way to go. Co-workers are finishing up the degree bridge and say that they can see no value in all the essays they are forced to write.

One is enrolled in year four and has six essays to finish between now and December exams. One who is finishing up a Diploma to degree course is just plain fed up. Write an essay on "how nurses know". Let's just say she's not a happy camper and keeps muttering "I know this but how the hell do I KNOW".

So maybe the idea of a degree is a good one BUT not the perfect solution. Nobody is disputing that nurses have a great deal of knowledge and technical skills but this desire for a degree is causing problems. The admittance to nursing school is becoming increasingly competitive and many schools now go purely by high school academic marks with a minimum of 85% in Grade 12 Biology and Chemistry. Most of the RNs I work with are diploma nurses and are the first to admit they wouldn't get admitted to nursing school today due to the emphasis on high marks in the sciences. Are they capable nurses who have kept up to date with technology? Yes. Could they get 85% on their grade 12 sciences, they all freely admit, not a snowballs chance.

So here in Canada we are seeing the "brightest" enter nursing school because they heard it's a job for life with a good pay rate. We're just not getting people who WANT to be nurses and got 65-75% in school.

And let's face it, exam marks don't really acknowledge the "whole" person just how well they can write exams not how able they are.

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lisamct works as a Midwife.

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I think its interesting that Midwifery became a degree only profession in 2008 and didn't receive one inch of media coverage but it happens in Nursing and its widely reported.

Im genuinely interested in why this might be the case (other than the fact that 90% of the population are still not aware that we're totally different professions)

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RGN1 works as a RN.

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I wouldn't say that the Canadian model is the way to go. Co-workers are finishing up the degree bridge and say that they can see no value in all the essays they are forced to write.

One is enrolled in year four and has six essays to finish between now and December exams. One who is finishing up a Diploma to degree course is just plain fed up. Write an essay on "how nurses know". Let's just say she's not a happy camper and keeps muttering "I know this but how the hell do I KNOW".

So maybe the idea of a degree is a good one BUT not the perfect solution. Nobody is disputing that nurses have a great deal of knowledge and technical skills but this desire for a degree is causing problems. The admittance to nursing school is becoming increasingly competitive and many schools now go purely by high school academic marks with a minimum of 85% in Grade 12 Biology and Chemistry. Most of the RNs I work with are diploma nurses and are the first to admit they wouldn't get admitted to nursing school today due to the emphasis on high marks in the sciences. Are they capable nurses who have kept up to date with technology? Yes. Could they get 85% on their grade 12 sciences, they all freely admit, not a snowballs chance.

So here in Canada we are seeing the "brightest" enter nursing school because they heard it's a job for life with a good pay rate. We're just not getting people who WANT to be nurses and got 65-75% in school.

And let's face it, exam marks don't really acknowledge the "whole" person just how well they can write exams not how able they are.

I agree with your comments regarding the problems with the degree only issues, I wouldn't have done nursing I don't think if it was a degree course, as I already had a degree. I actually don't think nursing should be an all degree profession for exactly the same reaons you've highlighted. However, my comments were addressing the concerns that I see with the UK course as they are going "all degree" by the sounds of it.

My main concern with the UK is that the actual course that is offered to many UK nurses just doesn't cut it, whereas at least your Canadian training does get a decent amout of practical nursing skillscoupled with really good theoretical knowledge, within the course. I know there are issues, which you've drawn attention to but trust me you don't go into nursing in the UK for the money, it's really not a very well paid job at all!:D

My opinion is only based on what I have personally experienced both in the UK & Canada. I really have noticed that the Grad nurse in Canada knows way more at the end of their training than the UK Grad nurse does and is also way better equipped for life on the ward. I'm not putting down the UK nurses because I know it's just because the Canadian nurses (at least in my area) are getting a better training, albeit (from your comments) a more stressful one!! Most UK nurses do catch up once they are in the hospital but just the fact the NMC has been talking about a year of "preceptorship" for new grads prooves they know there is a problem with the degree courses. The only reason they need that is because current training is not equipping them for the real world.

When we trained we hit the ground running, I was in charge on my 1st ever shift because we trained in the hospital we worked & our last 6 months was spent on the wards as charge (under guidance.) I'm not suggesting our training was perfect but nursing is, & always will be, a practical job & you can't teach that in a classroom.

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Just my 2 cents, as nursing is a degree course in Portugal. It has been so since 1996, I believe.

I don't know how it is in the UK exactly, but over here nurses still get paid less than their academic grade would require - something around 300eur/month less than other degree-holding professions - and it doens't look like that will change anytime soon. However if nursing wasn't even a degree course, I imagine things would be a lot worse!

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RGN1 works as a RN.

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Yup UK nurses are well underpaid too & degree status won't improve that for sure!!

Interestingly my non-degree nurse training has been accepted without issues both in the USA & Canada whereas mnay of my degree trained International colleagues had to complete the Alberta SEC & were found wanting in theory or practical & the threads on making up hours for the USA are testiment to the fact the UK degree course lacks for the USA too. However, should I be applying to Alberta for 2010 I wouldn't even be assessed because I don't posess a degree!!! I find that ridiculous!

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ayla2004 has 5 years experience and works as a nurse.

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i dont think being degree only entry to the registart for nurses trained in england (my home are N.I is degree only now)will change our income. Nurses in the Republic of Ireland have become degree entry only and have been fighing for equal pay and condition with Therapist (AHP) somehow when it comes to paying for the number of nurses it takes in acute care the paymastes feel that it is too much for the public purse as oppsed to a lesser number of AHP.

Im diploma trained and i will top up to degree as i feel there are gaps in my knowledge and anyway learning is a personal thingf, and professionla requirement. Some of the AHP i spoke to both hospital and degree trained dont feel the degree has improved their ability to do the work physio, podiatry, and radiographers. however would nursing seem an easiar option devalue the profession to new recuits and our standing in the wider public.

The NMC sill still require 50% theory/practice balance and if a bsn becomes a minium requirement nerw nurses won't get from uni that being hands on is above them. Education does not make a nurses too posh to wash thats jsut personal i feel. However education does support experience(14 months trained and boy do i know a lot more that i never learnt as a student.)

if anything what stops a dedicated nurse form being hands on is too many patients and to many phone calls interupting what they are trying to do. Sorry i had ward round, social workers all morning whilst i was trying to make sure patient were fed, medicated washed and clean whilst being concerned a pt may be poorly, and another in pain. Been reading some nurisng blogs and I can relate to having half a ward of poorlys and half a ward of dependant confused pts .

I feel for the amount of technical skills and responbility nurses take on either decreased pt load or increase suport.

Sorry gone off tangent.

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3,099 Visitors; 132 Posts

There's not enough of us as it is. Personally, without the bursary I wouldn't have managed, I would have had to think long and hard if I could afford to go for a degree, the chances are I wouldn't be a nurse now. I'm all for topping up to a degree now, I'd be earning in the meantime.

I'm worried that going all degree would became a deterrant to enter this profesion, none of us got into it thinking we'll be rich, but the pay at the end of it is not huge, is sort of decent if you don't have too high hopes. Unlike other degrees, we're in practice 37.5 h a week, the odd shift as an HCA is not going to help make ends meet whilst you're a student, paying a 10 grand debt out of a £20.770 a year...hmmmm...

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K+MgSO4 has 10 years experience and works as a nurse unit manager.

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Ireland had been higher degree entry since 2002 firsts grads in 06. There was a lot of controversy and mistrust around us nursing students when we first came onto the floor for our first placement. Staff thought that we would not be willing to learn the basics and would be asking questions that they couldnt answer. Alot of the dipolama nurses also had worries about how they could precept over their qualification. well did they get a suprise........After 4 months of block and lectures and eassys out of our ears we were more than ready to get our hands dirty! And apart from one oddball who didn't make it past first year we were more than keen to do obs and washes and all that other stuff every first year student has been doing for the last X no of years.

However nursing in ireland is still trying o fight for a 35hr working week as it has been for the past number of years and recogniton of the fact that most of the nurses are degree qualified. But in hte current climate that is not going down well

Entrance to Irish universities is based on a points system dependent completely on how you do in your Leaving Certificate since 2002 which was a change from a combination of exam results, aptitude testing and interview. Is it better who knows. As one of the guinea pigs from the first cycle of the higher degree I haven't known any different.

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