The current plan to create a cheaper nursing force has been in the pipeline for some years. Britain was always going to follow the American route, as it has done in the sphere of student loans, the selling of houses to pay for elderly care costs, and every other area in which a profit is to be made.

As this privatisation tsunami swept the shores of Britain, the RCN pitifully kept on making the case for more degree educated nurses to be trained, naturally so, as many nurse lecturers are RCN members, and, as we are constantly told, more degree educated nurses leads to better patient outcomes.

This sounds reasonable, until you consider the large amount of reported abuse and negligence of duty committed by such well educated nurses. Passing an exam is not the same as being a passable human being, and, in any case, pertinently, the nursing game is now  one of cost reduction.

This is to produce a low paid and subservient workforce, which will allow for greater profits to be made when the whole shebang of nursing care is owned by American corporations. This is the road we are on. The government just shows you a fraction of the map, so you can not see the final destination; the cliff of privatisation.

Hence, to the inevitable introduction of the American Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) programme, called by the name of nursing associate. That’s right, government ministers do not think up new schemes, but, like a blatant plagarist, simply alters a few words from the American master copy of the plan. You only have to study the replication of the American benefits system to appreciate this.

So, what lies ahead in the world of British nursing. Well, American LPN training lasts up to a year and a half, and students are taught general patient care, human physiology and anatomy, and skim some nursing theories. Once qualified, the LPN  works while being supervised by a registered nurse (RN). As a result, their salary is much lower.

The LPN can continue to study so that they can earn a full degree and become a registered nurse. This has led to the creation of LPN to RN programmes.

LPN’s finance their own training – the price is usually very affordable.

It is quick to get the certificate, which can be complted at a local college.

They don’t have any professional legal responsibility.

This package is sellable to those who do not want the high cost of financing a degree, and do not want the legal responsibility that goes with being a RN. This is not to say they will not be deemed responsible for negligence or abuse.

It means fewer nurses taking responsibility for many more’associates’, who can do the jobs once reserved for nurses. The strain on the few in charge will probably lead to them leaving nursing, as many do.

It has not been a case of not training enough nurses, it has been a case of putting them under so much pressure that they leave the nurse trenches as fast as new cannon fodder can be added.

This has been a boon for the nurse lecturing industry, but that particular gravy train is about to leave the station, and no amount of quoting research to the government will bring it back, and if you haven’t realised that by now, my dearhearts of the RCN, you are truly blind, and exist in a fantasy world that sees nursing as not being controlled by a new politics, dressed up as economics.

lenin nightingale 2015

3 thoughts on “THE NEW NURSE IN TOWN

  1. At least with the old State Enrolled Nurse the SENs were accountable and Responsible for their actions or omissions. They were registered nurses legally registered by the NMB & UKCC and I think a long way down the NMC chart I think they still are.
    Their training was 2 years of bedside nursing without management of the ward except they were expected to be the trained nurse at night when students were taking the ward. There were many excellent SENs who excelled in care, many converted to RGN eventually.
    Like most things the government hasnt thought this through and are happy to accept anything the Americans do as good. The NMC are not accountable to anyone so will do just as they please regardless.
    This is going to be another nail in the coffin of the NHS because in a few years the standard of nursing from these poorly trained glorified care assistants will provide the UK with the poorest standard of nursing ever, people will be glad to sign up to the American style health insurance to get private care from trained nurses.
    I pray we can hang on long enough for a new government to be in place to scrap this before it starts

  2. Note- no legal professional responsibility- will this put more strain on Registered nurses? See problems re this in the USA eg adverse drug reactions missed.
    “The Registered Nurse told me to do it, M’lud”
    This route will eventually become the entry route to registered nursing.
    Is the RCN ignoring certain factors beacuse in reality, they accept that the tide cannot be turned back? Will Associate Nurses be RCN members? Keep the gravy train flowing.

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