Nursing to Become all Graduate Entry


UK Health Minister Ann Keen has announced that all new nurses will be educated to degree level from 2013 making them better equipped to improve the quality of patient care.

This will raise the minimum level for pre-registration courses for nurses from diploma to degree level. These courses will also meet new standards developed by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

The announcement has come after the four UK Health Departments asked the NMC to carry out a consultation and review of pre-registration nurse education and is supported by all the key nursing bodies.

Health Minister Ann Keen commented:

"Nurses are the largest single profession within the health service, and are critical to the delivery of high quality health care.

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. 

This is the right direction of travel if we are to fulfil our ambition to provide higher quality care for all."

NMC Chief Executive and Registrar, Dickon Weir-Hughes said:

"The NMC are very pleased to announce the timescale for the introduction of our new Standards for pre-registration nursing education. The public rightly expect to receive high quality care from nurses. The new standards will be a cornerstone in ensuring that nurses are able to meet these expectations and continue to provide safe and effective care in the future.

Raising the minimum level of education programmes to degree is essential in ensuring that future nursing students are fully prepared to undertake the new roles and responsibilities that will be expected of them by end of the programme.

The different structure of programmes will also ensure that all newly registered nurses are competent in meeting the basic care needs of all people as well as being able to deliver complex care in their chosen field."

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