Nurses are not carrying on
Pay is at the top of the nursing agenda, and the annual Review Body, chaired by former Oxford Brookes University vice-chancellor Clive Booth, is taking evidence.
The Royal College of Nursing says pay is a major deterrent to would-be nurses. A qualified nurse, after a three-year diploma or degree, starts on just Pounds 12,633. The RCN says this is 20 per cent behind police constables and 8 per cent below the average starting salary for graduate occupations in the public sector.
The RCN's evidence to this year's pay review body shows that newly qualified nurses are the most dissatisfied with pay. The RCN believes it would cost Pounds 1.2 billion to align nurses' pay with that of other professionals.
"Pay is not the only issue, but it is a highly significant factor in why people are leaving nursing or choosing not to enter it," the RCN says.