Could care more

August 4, 2011

Roger Watson is to be applauded for his opinion article on nurse preparation ("We need the IV leaguers", 28 July). The apparent incompatibility of "caring" with higher education is a tired cliche that the profession should have abandoned years ago.

What both universities and their colleagues in practice have been less than successful in achieving is helping students to integrate essential theory with practice (and fundamental nursing care has increasingly become the preserve of healthcare assistants rather than qualified nurses).

There are many reasons for this, including the fact that many teachers of nursing now have limited clinical experience and expert practice is being diluted in clinical areas. Some nurses who qualify (often with good degrees) probably should not, and the vicissitudes of qualified practice make quality mentoring and supervision difficult. Too much is often expected too soon of newly qualified nurses.

Students and newly qualified nurses who try to bring an element of evidence-based practice to their work often meet a brick wall of tradition and an unwillingness of those in practice to be challenged and to reflect on their work. It may be anecdotal, but I am depressed about how rarely patients and clients report positively on their experience of "care", and some stories (especially from inpatients) are truly shocking. I wonder why some nurses ever wanted to train - or have they been socialised and brutalised by the system?

Anthony Ingleton, Sheffield

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

James Fryer illustration (27 July 2017)

It is not Luddism to be cautious about destroying an academic publishing industry that has served us well, says Marilyn Deegan

Jeffrey Beall, associate professor and librarian at the University of Colorado Denver

Creator of controversial predatory journals blacklist says some peers are failing to warn of dangers of disreputable publishers

Hand squeezing stress ball
Working 55 hours per week, the loss of research periods, slashed pensions, increased bureaucracy, tiny budgets and declining standards have finally forced Michael Edwards out
Kayaker and jet skiiers

Nazima Kadir’s social circle reveals a range of alternative careers for would-be scholars, and often with better rewards than academia

hole in ground

‘Drastic action’ required to fix multibillion-pound shortfall in Universities Superannuation Scheme, expert warns