In the final instalment of his healthcare policy column, emeritus Professor Alan Glasper, from the University of Southampton, discusses a new report that looks at ways to encourage graduates in other disciplines into nursing
An ambitious plan to attract more graduates from other disciplines into pre-registration nursing programmes was launched in July by Health Education England (HEE) (2021).
Ever since the passing of the Nurses Registration Act in December 1919, leading to state registration for appropriately trained nurses, there has been a shortfall in the number of nurses needed to ensure optimum care delivery (Glasper and Carpenter, 2019). The shortfalls were initially attributed to how few of the nursing workforce were allowed to join the register after the Act introduced stringent entry requirements, resulting in the exclusion of many health workers who had previously described themselves as nurses. It was only after the introduction of a national nursing curriculum in the wake of the foundation of the General Nursing Council, the forerunner of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), that nurse education was standardised irrespective of where a nurse was trained.
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