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The case for graduate entry to the United Kingdom nursing register

Ali, P.A.; Watson, R.


P.A. Ali


Aim: The recent decision of the United Kingdom Nursing and Midwifery Council to make nursing a degree profession is contentious and has generated debate among nurses and other stakeholders. We argue why nurses need a degree to nurse and what the implications of making a degree in nursing obligatory at the point of registration will be. Background: Nurses work at the forefront of any healthcare system. The complexity of their role and demands on them are increasing. To fulfil demands and expectations of employers, the public and the profession, and to be able to work collaboratively with other healthcare professions, nurses need critical thinking, problem-solving and decision-making skills, which can help them to work as independent practitioners. We argue that this can only be assured if the level of education for nurses is raised from diploma to degree, making this a prerequisite for registration as a nurse. Conclusions: The increasingly complex role of nurses, the changing landscape of the healthcare needs and a need to improve the image and status of nursing as a profession to make it an attractive career choice are some of the important reasons that justify nursing in becoming a degree-only profession. © 2011 The Authors. International Nursing Review © 2011 International Council of Nurses.


Ali, P., & Watson, R. (2011). The case for graduate entry to the United Kingdom nursing register. International Nursing Review, 58(3), 312-318.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Jun 27, 2011
Publication Date 2011-09
Print ISSN 0020-8132
Electronic ISSN 1466-7657
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 58
Issue 3
Pages 312-318
Keywords Degree Profession; Education; Graduate Entry; Image of Nursing; Nursing Profession; UK
Public URL
Publisher URL
PMID 21848776