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Friday 21st October 2016

Nurses to be trained to degree level

12th November 2009

From 2013, all new nurses in England will have to spend at least three years being trained to degree level.


The Department of Health say the change will help nurses meet the increasingly complex needs of patients more safely and effectively and follows a recommendation from the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

The change will mean one, or even two years, of additional training for nurses to reach a degree level with the extra time spent on gaining experience working in community health teams.

At present, training involves a combination of theoretical and practical work as nurses work towards a diploma.

Health Minister for England Ann Keen said: "Nurses are the largest single profession within the health service, and are critical to the delivery of high quality healthcare.

"By bringing in degree-level registration we can ensure new nurses have the best possible start to meet the challenges of tomorrow.

"Degree-level education will provide new nurses with the decision-making skills they need to make high-level judgements in the transformed NHS."

Degree level programmes in nursing are already offered in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland and Wales has been offering degree programmes only since 2004.

The Royal College of Nursing see the move as an important and historic development.

RCN general secretary Dr Peter Carter said: “Many nursing roles are demanding and involve increasingly advanced levels of practice and clinical knowledge.”

Michael Summers, the vice-chairman of the Patients Association, welcomed the move that will see nurses being taught to degree level.


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