By: Karen Reissmann
The tabloids have greeted the news that all nurses will soon go to university by declaring we will become “too posh to wash”. But such backward comments ignore the real problems with the plan.
While it sounds good to give nurses more education, the reality is that this is the latest step in a long history of deskilling. It will lead to fewer nurses on the wards and work getting shifted onto less trained staff.
In the 27 years I have been a nurse I have seen many changes. Nurse training has become increasingly academic.
Some of this is to be welcomed. We want to be able to understand how to judge research on care and consider ethical issues, and we need to be able to have the skills to assess what really works.
Yet most student nurses will tell you that current training provides little help in teaching you to do the actual job you have to do – like putting up drips. Too much time is spent “academising” practical skills.