Professor Elizabeth Rosser gives her opinion on proposed changes to nurse training

Professor Elizabeth Rosser, Deputy Dean in Education in BU’s School of Health and Social Care has given her views on the government’s proposed changes to nurse training.

She spoke to BBC Radio Solent’s Drivetime presenter Steve Harris on the day that the Royal College of Nursing branded the proposals as “stupid” – in particular, plans to make trainee nurses spent a year as healthcare assistants before beginning a degree course.

The government says the proposals will help to improve health care, following the Mid-Stafford Hospital scandal and the Francis Report which made recommendations as a result.

But Professor Rosser, herself a Registered Nurse, said that she believed nurses already received enough training.

“Much has already been done to ensure that students are prepared with the underpinning values that were exposed as problems in the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust.

“All the programmes leading to qualification as a registered nurse have for quite some considerable time met EU requirements to have 50 per cent theory and 50 per cent practice. That’s 2,300 hours delivered in practice and each is accounted for, working hands-on with qualified members of staff and delivering patient care.”

She added that the proposals to have potential trainee nurses working in wards for a year worried her greatly.

“It’s putting additional pressure on the mentors who are currently supporting and assisting our students out in practice,” she said.

Professor Rosser went on to say that she believed the greater issue lay with the number of nurses on wards, and under-staffing.

“The focus of the 290 recommendations by the Francis Report was very much on the staffing levels, and getting the correct staffing levels to support the dependency on patient care.”

You can hear her comments in full here.