Perceptions of Nursing and Midwifery

The great debate! by Lynsay Ward

Whether or not nursing should be a degree always seems to be debated, it seems that most people who are degree educated nurses think that it should be a degree while many of those who were educated 'on the job' don't think that it should.

Personally I think it's a difficult question, while I am degree educated, in fact I have two degrees, I feel that there seems to be a great inconsistency in the way that universities teach nursing and that leaves some people at a disadvantage.

I do think that education is very important and it is essential that nursing staff can learn and understand within a secure environment. However for me a large part of my degree was very repetitive with a high amount of overlap between modules and due to this I did feel that I learnt a lot more about nursing from being on placement and from my mentors than I did from the university. However I did already hold a degree in Biological Sciences and knew a lot more of the underlying physiology and disease processes than the university taught the nursing course and without this I may not have found the modules so repetitive. For me, I had a lot of the background knowledge but needed to learn nursing skills and practical application of the knowledge I had so a more practice based education would have definitely suited me better.

On the other hand I have met students who have had a terrible time at their placements and lacked proper mentorship so on the job learning would not be sufficient for them and the university teaching and simulation likely ensured that they are good nurses of the future.

I have mentioned before that my husband is a paramedic, in Scotland this is not a degree program and requires 2 years of study to become registered but does have the option to do further learning to obtain a degree or indeed higher qualifications if they wish to do so in the future. Sometimes I wonder if this would be a better option for nursing and may increase the uptake for students as it is not as large a commitment for people who have undertaken past learning or who may already work in healthcare but who struggle academically.
The introduction of HNC programs and Nursing Associates may feel like stepping backwards to some people but may help those who are not academic to become future nurses and I think they can only be a good thing when we are struggling to recruit as a profession.

It will be interesting to read the other views on this today and to see whether or not the blogger is degree educated or not!

Lynsay x

What inspired you to write this blog?

The Transforming Perceptions of Nursing and Midwifery 30 Day Challenge


What is your role?

Community Nurse, Edinburgh Napier & QMU graduate, RCN Lothian NQN branch exec.


What are your nursing and/or midwifery qualifications?

Community Nurse, Edinburgh Napier & QMU graduate, RCN Lothian NQN branch exec.


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