Children's Nursing: Fit for the Future?

Concern remains about the future of the children's degree programme despite reassurance

Campaigners, who last month launched an online parliamentary petition to save the children’s nursing degree programme, seem undeterred following reassurance from the government.

There is concern that changes to the four fields of practice could lead to more ‘generic’ education of future nurses and a statement from the health department has done little to quash some nurses’ fears that this will happen eventually.


The health department has said that the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) is not proposing to abolish the four fields of practice, but reiterates that between now and 2020, it will make changes to education in an exercise that has its origins in the Shape of Caring review of 2015 – the response to the Mid Staffs scandal where nursing standards came under fire.

Work on developing new standards for pre-registration nurse education is being led by professor of nursing at Southampton University Dame Jill Macleod Clark, and a consultation on them is due to take place later this year.

Despite the reassurance campaigners involved in the petition feel the children’s nursing degree is safe for now, but may not be by 2020. The petition, which has so far accumulated nearly 17,000 signatures – enough to trigger the government response – remains open until 9 August. If it reaches 100,000 signatures it will be considered for a debate in parliament. 


Also, this month I’m pleased to announce that Nursing Children and Young People is staging its first ever conference titled Children’s Nursing: Fit for the Future? It will take place on 9 November at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool. This new futuristic hospital will provide a great setting to discuss some of the hot topics facing children’s nurses and we have a great line-up of top speakers. To find out more go to: click here.

You can sign the petition here