View from the Chair
Published: 15 July 2011
Education Forum Chair Carol Hall has a roundup of recent events and future considerations.
I am writing this fresh from Beyond the borders, the RCN Education Forum Conference in Belfast – a lively and buzzing opportunity to share ideas from across the world. It was good to meet so many educators from so many different work situations and to share ideas and inspirations which continue in so many debates around nurse education.
For me, key elements included the proactive discussions aiming to try and resolve issues around failing to fail students and how to improve assessment quality to safeguard patients.
Other presentations which caught my eye focused on supporting user and carers in working with nursing students and curriculum - and also on the ways in which nurse educators are developing internationalisation as a theme in order to support student learning experiences and future patient care.
There was so much more though, and I plan to review the presentations I missed on the Education Forum website where they will soon be found in an archive for all to share. http://www.rcn.org.uk/development/communities/rcn_forum_communities/education
Our next conference will be in Harrogate in February 2012, and I look forward to seeing you there.
Short term savings, long term costs
As summer arrives and brings with it the prospect of public service strikes and dissatisfaction, it is also timely to reflect on the challenges facing nurse educators. Providing quality experience for the best nursing in the face of financial difficulty is always challenging so it is important to consider that good education, training and development will be needed more than ever.
International work completed in the RN4CAST study (http://www.rn4cast.eu/) around the nursing workforce included retention and recruitment, and it demonstrates a clear relationship between the ratio of well qualified, well supported and satisfied nursing staff, and patient outcomes. Kings College London was the UK partner in this study.
The important thing in these times is to ensure nursing education does not become compromised and a desire to save money short term does not mean a devastating loss of expertise we need to enable a quality future workforce long term.
In England, we anxiously await the government funding review in respect of pre-registration health care courses. We hope for everyone’s sake that this will be available soon so that admissions tutors and new candidates for nursing can make some practical decisions about course funding and living as a student.
Your comments count
Finally it is important also to advise that the EU review of the Directive on the Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications continues apace and a green paper entitled Modernising professional qualifications directive has been released by the European Commission with the consultation open until 20 September. I urge you to respond to consultations about this paper as they emerge. There are many aspects of it which do impact on nursing education wherever this may take place. For pre-registration this includes training hours and pre-admission criteria, while for qualified nurses there are considerations about language competency, professional competency and qualification, and mobility between EU countries for nurses - to mention but a few.
Do visit the website or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to get involved and really enhance education for nursing – there are so many ways that you can!
Meanwhile, I wish you a warm and pleasant summer and I hope you can take time to enjoy it.