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Wednesday 26th October 2016

Nursing Careers

23rd March 2006

23032006_PrettyNurse1.jpg"Could the independent sector be a better place for nurses to work in a time of uncertainty and instability in the NHS?" asks Nursing Times.

It certainly is, says a recent survey of 9,000 nurses conducted by the Royal College of Nursing. The survey found that nurses in the independent sector were more satisfied with pay and conditions than those in the NHS.

In particular, 55% of independent sector nurses stated that there were sufficient staff in place to offer a good standard of care, compared with only 25% in the NHS. On average, an NHS nurse looks after 7.7 patients compared with 5.5 patients in the private sector.

Furthermore, 33% of nurses in the independent sector said they were paid well compared with 16% in the NHS.

It is estimated that about a quarter of UK nurses work in the independent sector and in general they perceive that their working environment is better, not just in terms of physical infrastructure but they also believe their employers' attitude is more supportive. A common complaint among nurses in the NHS is that no one seems to care about them.

With the publication of the recent White Paper: Our Care, Our Health, Our Say, it is likely that the independent sector will grow and "for better or worse, more and more nurses will find themselves employed outside the NHS."

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