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A year of 'interesting times' for nursing

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Hundreds of nurses campaigned in 2016 Hundreds of nurses campaigned against removing the student nurse bursary in 2016

All good things must come to an end, and it is with some sadness (for me at least) that I have to tell you that this is the final edition of Independent Nurse I will be editing.

It has been a great year and a rare privilege to have an insight into the huge contributions made by primary care nurses.

But it has also been a year of extraordinary challenges. There has been the abolition of the student bursary for nursing. The government claims that this will free up thousands more training places, while nursing groups claim it will provide a further financial disincentive to entering the profession. As with its stance on the junior doctors’ contract, the government is playing a high-risk game with the future of the workforce, and thus the NHS itself.

Perhaps more happily, there was the rollout of the new revalidation process. Earlier this year we reported the concerns of many primary care nurses about it, but thanks to the efforts of the NMC, it has not been as daunting as anticipated, and high percentages of nurses are now completing the process.

The third major challenge will be the impact of Brexit on the NHS and this is still unclear. The UK owes overseas workers a duty of care, and a guarantee of certainty in its wake. I will watch developments with interest from my new berth at Practice Nursing.

I leave you back in the capable hands of the great Rita Som, rejoining Seeta Bhardwa and Alex Turnbull who have helped me enormously this year. See you all again soon I hope.

Mike Shallcross, acting editor, Independent Nurse

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