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17.05.18

Nurses missing out on vital training

Cuts to NHS funding mean that nurses are missing out on training, according to the Royal College of Nurses (RCN).

The union has warned that if employers do not ensure that nurses have access to continuing professional development (CPD), with guaranteed protected time for it, they will risk falling behind with the latest developments in practice.

Consequently, this could put patient safety at risk.

However, frontline nurses have told the RCN that study leave that has been granted is often cancelled due to the winter crisis and other staffing pressures, and cuts to training budgets in England have resulted in a significant drop in the number of courses available.

In extreme cases, this could lead to nurses being removed from the professional register, the RCN has argued in its new report, ‘Investing in a safe and effective workforce: Continuing professional development for nurses in the UK’.

This would add to the ongoing staff shortages.

During their revalidation process, a third of nurses told the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) that they had managed just 10 hours or less of CPD, falling far short of the required 35 hours.

Janet Davies, chief executive of the RCN, said: “For the sake of patient safety, nurses must be allowed to keep up-to-date with developments and advance into tomorrow’s nurse leadership positions.

“Policymakers and employers must find a way to fund and guarantee this time. Nurses must not be allowed to fall foul of the regulator’s requirement.”

The college is calling for all bodies in health care education funding and workforce development to urgently publish data on total funding allocations for CPD, training undertaken and workforce needs.

In addition, it is calling on politicians to reverse the cuts to date and boost opportunities, which echoes a call by the health select committee earlier this year.

 

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