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Nurses criticise ‘appalling’ decision not to protect the title of nurse

MPs vote against bill amendment, which provokes instant reaction by nurses on Twitter

MPs vote against bill amendment, which provokes instant reaction by nurses on Twitter

Nurses have said MPs do not see nursing as a skilled profession after parliament voted against protecting the title of ‘nurse’ in law.

MPs yesterday voted 304 to 240, a majority of 64, to reject an amendment to the Health and Care Bill that would have ensured only those registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council could call themselves a nurse.

Nurses take to social media

MPs vote against bill amendment, which provokes instant reaction by nurses on Twitter

Picture: iStock

Nurses have said MPs do not see nursing as a skilled profession after parliament voted against protecting the title of ‘nurse’ in law.

MPs yesterday voted 304 to 240, a majority of 64, to reject an amendment to the Health and Care Bill that would have ensured only those registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council could call themselves a nurse.

Nurses take to social media to criticise MPs’ decision

Reacting to the news on Twitter, nurses said the outcome was ‘appalling’ and disrespectful to those working in the profession.

British Association of Critical Care Nurses chair Nicki Credland had this to say:

One nurse tweeted: ‘The majority of MPs do not see nursing as the skilled, safety critical profession it is.’

Another added: ‘This is appalling. It shows how much they respect the nurses.’

Amendment would have 'given registered nurses the respect they deserve'

Labour MP Dawn Butler, who tabled the amendment, said she was ‘hugely disappointed’ by the decision but added she would take the campaign to protect the title of nurse to the House of Lords.

‘This is such a shame, as it would have given registered nurses the respect they deserve for their experience and expertise, and protected patient safety,’ she told Nursing Standard.

Question over how other professionals might be affected by amendment

MPs’ decision to reject the amendment related to a call for further detail about the consequences of the change.

Minister of state for health Edward Argar told parliament that the amendment does not address the ‘fundamental challenges’ of how this change in law would affect other professionals using the title, such as dental nurses.

The amendment would mean anyone unlawfully using the title ‘nurse’ would be guilty of an offence and could face a fine.

The only protected titles for nursing are ‘registered nurse’, ‘specialist community public health nurse’, ‘nursing associate’ and ‘midwife’.

Petition to protect nurse title aims to trigger debate

In June a petition was launched to protect the title of nurse by London South Bank University professor and chair of healthcare and workforce modelling Alison Leary.

Professor Leary’s petition, which she set up outside of her professional capacity, has received more than 32,000 signatures. If it reaches 100,000 signatures, it will be considered for debate in parliament.


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