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Public names nurses as making greatest contribution to society

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Nursing is the UK's favourite job The British public loves nurses, but is also acutely aware that there aren't enough of them

People across the UK say nurses are the top profession for their contribution to society, but worry about staff shortages, new polling reveals.

Polling conducted by YouGov, and released on International Nurse’s Day, shows that the public believe nurses make the biggest contribution to society, as 16% of respondents selected the nursing profession, followed by doctors (12%) and teachers (12%).

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When asked what skills or qualities are most important for nursing staff to have the public said that skilled care and communication skills were among the most important.

‘The public knows that nursing staff go above and beyond in all they do for patients and those in their care,’ said RCN General Secretary and Chief Executive Pat Cullen.

‘Our people always defend and champion safe patient care and that is what is being recognised on Nurses’ Day.’

However, seven in 10 (70%) of the public think there are too few nurses to provide safe care to patients. With a shortage of tens of thousands of nurses in the UK more than a quarter (28%) of the public are most concerned that they may not get the care that is required when needed. Nearly a fifth (19%) are most concerned there may not be enough nurses to help with treatment, while more than one in 10 (13%) are most concerned that care might not be of a safe standard.

‘It is on the public’s behalf that we remind politicians everywhere again today that a fully-funded workforce plan is a major step in keeping our health and care settings safe. They must begin to take responsibility for the current situation and turning it around,’ added Ms Cullen.

‘Today is a celebration of nursing staff’s clinical excellence, their personal compassion and genuine dedication. I encourage everyone to share stories on the ’Best of Nursing’, be it from hard working staff on our wards, in surgeries, in the community, in social care and everywhere else.’

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