University leaders respond to Shadow Chancellor’s pledge to grow number of nurses

Student nurses

University Alliance has responded to Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves’ announcement today regarding university places for medical and nursing students. Vanessa Wilson, CEO of the Alliance, said:

“As the group of universities which collectively train the largest number of nurses in the UK, we are delighted that the Shadow Chancellor has recognised the need to significantly grow the number of nurses we train. The issue of how to effectively train more nurses is a complex one, and we hope that the Labour party will involve universities in shaping this policy. 

“The real challenge we face is in providing NHS placements for growing numbers of nursing and medical students. The only way to overcome this challenge is to focus on quality over quantity in the number of placement hours a student must undertake to qualify. The UK requires our nursing students to undertake more hours of placement than almost any other country in the world. Even a small reduction in the number of hours needed would free up places for a higher number of students. A focus on assessing competence, rather than hours completed, would ensure both that our nurses are equipped to deliver outstanding care to patients and that we have enough nurses to staff our NHS.”

Further reading