The House of Commons Education Committee has published its 'Nursing degree apprenticeships: in poor health?' report
Dr Anne Corrin, Head of Professional Learning and Development at the Royal College of Nursing, said:
“The RCN welcomes apprenticeships if they are properly resourced and implemented safely, but they are far from the magic bullet the Government promised to grow nurse numbers and keep patients safe.
“This report makes it clear that the university route remains the fastest and safest way to educate, train and recruit the nurses we so desperately need. The Government must invest at least £1bn back into nursing higher education to help fill the growing number of nurse vacancies in England.
“Nursing degree apprenticeships are trapped in a tangle of regulation that offers cash-strapped employers little incentive to run schemes and recruit apprentices. Take up is very low. We support the recommendations in the report that seek to address these issues.
“However, we are concerned the report suggests a more flexible approach to students’ learning status. The RCN is clear that the Government must commit to maintaining supernumerary status for nursing apprentices, so that they are not counted in staffing numbers. Supernumerary status is vital if apprenticeships are to provide the safe route into nursing that patients deserve.”