Nursing a grudge

January 28, 2000

I take issue with the tone of Claire Sanders's article ("Practice makes perfect?" THES, January 21), which implies that there is something wrong with the way nursing education is delivered.

There is no reliable or valid evidence for this implication. The evidence gathered for health minister Frank Dobson was done by means of focus groups - notoriously biased in favour of those with something to complain about.

The solution, proposed by the Department of Health and supported by the United Kingdom Central Council for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting is to reduce the educational component of nursing, thus moving nursing away from the vision of an all-graduate entry to the profession - which Australia has achieved, with no deleterious effects.

It is also proposed to return to training at the "cadet" level where no qualifications at all are required. If there is a problem in English nursing it results from the intake of students with low academic qualifications and the production of poorly educated nurses.

The answer does not lie in taking in even less-qualified individuals and the production of even less-educated nurses.

Roger Watson Professor of nursing University of Hull

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