It is as if the nursing elite of the UK have blindfolded themselves, so as not to see the neoliberal tide that is sweeping them away.
The value of an all degree nursing profession is economically irrelevant to politicians who measure everything in terms of cost, so as to prepare the ground for the corporate takeover of the NHS.
The leadership of the RCN continue to hold up their hands in dismay, as a shocked elderly aunt hearing a rude joke, in response to the first ripples of the incomming tide of change, the ending of bursaries for nurse training.
Only the deluded imagine that they could challenge an embedded political doctrine that has permeated all main British political parties.
The new blueprint for nurse training has already been written. As with all ‘reforms’ of the public and welfare sector in the past decade, the manual is blazenly copied from America.
What type of nurse training will be the new norm?
All training will be self-funded.
All nurses will start as care assistants, who gain a certificate. In America, there are a variety of routes to gain a Cerified Nursing Assistant (CNA) qualification.
Community Colleges. CNA courses are very popular because of a high demand of nursing assistants. An average institute will charge around $200 to $350. On top of this are additional costs: Exam Fees – $50 to $270. Liability Insurance Policy – $20 to $25. Study Materials – $50 to $100. First-Aid and CPR course fees – $50. Health Check and Background Check – $200. Miscellaneous charges – stethoscope, uniforms, shoes, sandals, wrist watch, immunization cost if needed, etc.
Nursing Schools. There is no way to differentiate between the quality of education offered by a community college and a nursing school. However, since nursing schools focus on providing nurse education, the course will charge you around $1200.
Charity Providers. The American Red Cross is a most-sought after training institute. The training offered by the Red Cross is deemed of high quality and is comprehensive. The training cost is around $850 as tuition fees.
The Red Cross offers day classes which provide a hands-on environment including lectures, DVDs, role-playing and laboratory practice to teach students procedural skills such as vital signs, bathing, dressing and positioning. The classroom is equipped with hospital beds and medical equipment for students to use to practice.
The Red Cross curriculum meets or exceeds state standards. Graduates are prepared to pass the requirements for state testing, as well as to be successfully employed in hospitals, long-term care facilities and home healthcare settings. They suggest that their students benefit from: ‘
Small classes. Good locations. Hands-on experience. Licensed instructors with professional experience.
Students will learn the following: CPR/FA/AED Infection control. Taking vital signs. Range of motion exercises.Being a valuable and adaptable employee. Communication, teamwork and diversity skills. Skills and techniques for being a successful nurse assistant. (ibid.). There is ‘an emphasis on academics and hands-on skills training, graduates of the program are well prepared for the requirements to pass the state test as well as to be successfully employed in hospitals, long-term care facilities, and home healthcare settings.
Applicants must attend a local orientation information session; undertake a reading and math assessment, or verification of High School diploma; pass a Red Cross criminal background check prior to registration, and complete a Red Cross physical form/TB test.
Large corporations, such as Walmart, support this scheme. Since 2012, the Walmart Foundation has given $7 million in support, enabling the participation of poorer students.
Hospitals and Nursing Homes. Commencing a nursing career without incurring any cost can take place in hospitals and nursing homes, as there is already a shortage of nursing assistants in these settings However, they will require you to be with them for a set period after completing the training.
Online Courses. The cost of the web-based training programs is comparatively lower than traditional ones,and is becoming a popular method of training, or a supplement to training in traditional settings. Online learning may take three to six months to complete, depending on the course syllabus. Teaching programs can be based on the needs of the medical facilities of a particular area. Typically, online training is conducted over 100 hours; 20 of which is designated for clinical practice in the trainee’s local area.
The direction of the tide is obvious.
The Jill-of-all-trades nature of nurse training is not cost effective.
Care assistants will take enhanced courses in nursing specialities.
There will be fewer nurses with degrees, funded by debt.
There is no use in bleating.
The ship of nursing will be staffed by a new type of crew.