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‘Employers must give nurses time for training’

Some employers are withholding pay increments from nurses who do not complete statutory and mandatory training, according to an RCN specialist group.

Some employers are withholding pay increments from nurses who do not complete statutory and mandatory training, according to an RCN specialist group.

Mike Travis
Alder Hey Children’s Hospital RCN lead steward Mike Travis at congress. Picture: John Houlihan

Jean Rogers from the RCN UK learning representatives’ committee said it was up to individual organisations to decide how they administered compulsory training, but some were withholding pay increments for non-completion of training.

Speaking during a discussion on the issue submitted by the committee at RCN congress in Liverpool on Sunday, Ms Rogers called the situation unfair, especially if staff have no opportunities to comply due to circumstances such as staff shortages, or lack of financial planning or basic equipment.

‘Staff often feel they have no choice to complete training in their own time, which impacts on personal areas of their lives,’ she said.

‘Sometimes, sessions are missed due to our patient acuity or because it is bottom of our list of priorities and sometimes because we feel undervalued to start with.’

RCN lead steward for Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, Liverpool, Mike Travis reiterated that training may not be accessed because of staff shortages on wards.

‘Training becomes secondary to provision of services,’ he said.

Demoralised

Fellow speaker Joanne Day said: ‘Fighting to get training is part of why nurses [are becoming] demoralised to leave the profession.’


Joanne Day speaking at congress. Picture: John Houlihan

However, other speakers urged nurses and employers to think outside the box to ensure access to training.

Jason Warriner said: ‘Our organisation has taken a proactive approach to statutory and mandatory training.

‘It's seen as something evil, but let’s see it as something that works for nursing,’ he said, adding that the benefits of training included revalidation.

Heidi Perryman said that as a manager she struggles to motivate staff for training, but that pay is one way of doing so.


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