Most nurses have not heard of their university

April 18, 2003

Only a fifth of nurses, but more than four-fifths of National Health Service managers, have heard of the NHS University, the preliminary findings of a Mori poll carried out for the NHSU reveal.

The results were presented by NHSU chief executive Bob Fryer at a conference on lifelong learning in the NHS last week. They are part of a consultation exercise being carried out by the NHSU due for completion in May.

The NHSU will open for business this autumn with a series of events rather than a big bang. It will receive £30 million of funding in its first half year, then £50 million the next year and £80 million thereafter.

In a telephone poll, Mori asked 2,700 NHS managers, doctors, nurses, allied health professionals and members of the pubic whether they had heard of the NHSU. Twenty-two per cent of nurses, 84 per cent of managers, 48 per cent of allied health professionals, 30 per cent of doctors and 6 per cent of the general public said they had.

When asked how strongly they supported the principle of a single body to coordinate and support learning in the NHS, 73 per cent of managers, 72 per cent of allied health professionals, 60 per cent of doctors, 76 per cent of nurses and 79 per cent of the general public said they did.

* Nurses with degrees, rather than diplomas, make better practitioners, research from the Salford Royal Hospitals NHS Trust has found. The findings have already prompted a shift in funding from diploma to degree courses in the northwest.

Corole Swindells, associate clinical dean for the trust and Salford University, said: "Workforce development confederations need to know whether to fund diploma or degree courses, which are both three years' long. If graduates gain greater skills, then clearly degree courses could represent better value for money."

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