This site is intended for healthcare professionals only

Taking real action on nursing education

Written by: | Published:

Students must have good learning environments Students must have good learning environments

It was a privilege to be asked to provide evidence to the Willis Commission. There are three key things which need action following the report Quality with Compassion: the future of nursing education. These are: a sustainable funding model; a career pathway for nurses; and student placements in general practice.

The report stresses the importance of providing students with good practice learning environments. This requires a solid infrastructure and resourcing. While recognising medical training is more costly, there remains a huge disparity in funding levels between medicine and nursing.

General practice receives a placement tariff of several hundred pounds a week for medical students and relies on 'good will' for student nurses. There has been discussion about £93 fee for nurses, but I am not aware of any funded placements in general practice. The report recommends sustainable funding model to support education and training and equitably resourced.

It also highlights another important issue for nursing, the lack of a career structure. In the past, nurses knew how to progress through the nursing hierarchy and what training might support their progress up the ladder. There were three pathways, clinical, management or education.

The demise of ENB courses and NMC-recordable qualifications and lack of HCA and ANP regulation have left nurses dependent on local training, rather than nationally-recognised courses which are more transferable. Doctors' career framework has identified training steps which makes it easier to secure planned funding. Having a career pathway will be vital, if nurses are to get a fair slice of educational funding from Local Education and Training Boards.

The Willis report recognised the need for students to gain greater experience in health and wellness. Experience in general practice will be vital as more care is delivered outside of hospitals. There will need to be considerable investment to provide all students with well-funded and mentored placements in general practice.

What do you think? Leave a comment below or tweet your views to @IndyNurseMag

This material is protected by MA Healthcare Ltd copyright.
See Terms and Conditions.



Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.

Change the CAPTCHA codeSpeak the CAPTCHA code

Read a free issue from Practice Nursing

Register to read a free issue from our sister publication, Practice Nursing.

Including articles on asthma, diabetes and more. Read your copy.


Sign up to the newsletter


Independent Nurse is the professional resource for primary care and community nurses, providing clinical articles for practice nurses and prescribers.


Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date with the latest nursing news.

Stay Connected

Stay social with Independent Nurse by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook or connecting on LinkedIn.


Need access to some of our older articles? You can view our archive, or alternatively contact us.

Contact Us

MA Healthcare Ltd.
St Jude's Church, Dulwich Road
London, SE24 0PB

Tel: +44 (0)20 7738 5454
Registered in England and Wales No. 01878373

Meet the team


Find out how to contribute to Independent Nurse here.