Readers' reactions

January 29, 1999

Last week in the THES...Jenny Hewison argued that lifelong learning was making nurses leave the National Health Service

ANNE MARIE RAFFERTY. DIRECTOR, CENTRE FOR POLICY IN NURSING RESEARCH ROYAL COLLEGE OF NURSING

Valid concerns about nurse education must not be hi-jacked to undermine the system as a whole. The crisis in nurse shortages is now being blamed on the way we educate nurses -Ja softer target than the real culprits of inadequate pay, poor career structure and lack of flexible working conditions. The government's vision for the NHS relies heavily on a highly skilled and motivated nursing workforce. Higher education provides nursing with the educational context required to meet this challenge.

KEVIN CORBETT. PART-TIME NURSE LECTURER WITH 16 YEARS' CLINICAL NURSING AND EDUCATION EXPERIENCE

While few would like to see nursing removed from universities, its lecturers should go back to practice and its students should complete more learning in practice. Nursing is a hybrid art and science and cannot be taught in the lecture hall or classroom alone.

LIZ MEERABEAU. HEAD OF THE SCHOOL OF HEALTH. UNIVERSITY OF GREENWICH

Nurses are under pressure, but to attribute it all to the need to get qualifications is a gross oversimplification. Much of the continuing professional development nurses undertake is not about academia - it is about acquiring skills such as research awareness and computer literacy, which the Department of Health has called for.

NICKY-SINEAD GARDNER. PROFESSOR OF ACADEMIC INNOVATION. The issue is not just one of what might be best for nurses and nurse education. Project 2000 has seen the translation into universities of a new cadre of academic that has the attitudes, experience and professional practices to challenge the ways in which we in academia view the world. Nursing education has often acted as the touchstone for innovatory practice in teaching, learning and assessment. Any wholesale removal of nursing education from the university sector would be to the entire academy's detriment.

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