Health academics respond to Nurse First announcement

31 March 2017

Health academics have responded to the announcement this morning by the Chief Nursing Officer for England, Professor Jane Cummings, of a fast track programme to attract graduates from other disciplines into nursing. Students on the programme will have the opportunity to enter a development scheme to progress into leadership posts.

Professor Dame Jessica Corner, Chair of the Council of Deans of Health, representing UK university faculties engaged in education and research for nursing, midwifery and the allied health professions, said:

“Any measure aimed at increasing the number of registered nurses is very positive. We particularly welcome the emphasis on career development for these nurses to help them into leadership positions. Continuing professional development should be widely available to all NHS staff and publicly funded to help meet the growing healthcare needs of the population.”

The programme is being reported as starting in September at three pilot sites, with an initial focus on mental health and learning disability nursing.

Professor Corner said:

“We are currently seeking urgent clarification of the details of the programme, particularly around scale, funding and location. Many universities already provide postgraduate pre-registration courses for graduate students who are amongst the most able applicants and are highly valued by employers for their problem-solving ability, critical thinking, engagement in evidence-based practice, professionalism and independence. These are all skills which are needed in the workforce to execute the service transformation envisaged by the Five Year Forward View.”

 Notes to editors

  1. The Council of Deans of Health is the voice of the deans and heads of UK university faculties for nursing, midwifery and the allied health professions. For further information: councilofdeans.org.uk.
  1. For more information on this press release, please contact Jon Eames on 07496 693806.
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