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Crystal Oldman: England risks losing its place as leading role model in nurse education

Countries across the world are striving to increase the number of graduate nurses, so England’s decision to introduce the nursing associate role caused bewilderment among many at the ICN meeting in Barcelona.
shamian

Countries across the world are striving to increase the number of graduate nurses, so Englands decision to introduce the nursing associate role caused bewilderment among many at the ICN meeting in Barcelona

The International Council of Nurses (ICN) held its biennial meeting in Barcelona in May. I was privileged to be invited as an official observer of the Council of Nurse Representatives, and spent three days learning first-hand how the ICN conducts its business.

Chaired by ICN president Judith Shamian, the meeting was highly professional, democratic, inclusive and respectful, with lively, informative debates on constitutional and policy matters.

Sharing experiences of nursing practice, policy, education and research with members of national nursing associations from around the world including Japan, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Canada, Denmark and the United States I truly

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Countries across the world are striving to increase the number of graduate nurses, so England’s decision to introduce the nursing associate role caused bewilderment among many at the ICN meeting in Barcelona 

shamian
ICN president Judith Shamian addresses the Barcelona conference.

The International Council of Nurses (ICN) held its biennial meeting in Barcelona in May. I was privileged to be invited as an official observer of the Council of Nurse Representatives, and spent three days learning first-hand how the ICN conducts its business.

Chaired by ICN president Judith Shamian, the meeting was highly professional, democratic, inclusive and respectful, with lively, informative debates on constitutional and policy matters.

Sharing experiences of nursing practice, policy, education and research with members of national nursing associations from around the world – including Japan, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Canada, Denmark and the United States – I truly felt like a member of the global nursing family. 

Instant bond

We formed an instant bond over the professional challenges facing our respective countries, such as the global shortage of nurses and the critical need to work closely with government to influence policy and increase the number of registered nurses in both developed and developing countries. 

Evidence of the positive impact of graduate nurses on the health of individuals and communities is overwhelming, so there was bewilderment that England has chosen to introduce the nursing associate role. 

While developing countries are striving to increase the number of registered nurse graduates to improve the health of their populations, England now risks being relegated from its position as the leading role model in nurse education. 

Future research on the impact of nursing associates on patient outcomes and the health of communities in England will therefore be critical, providing evidence that will contribute to the global debate on the value and lasting impact of the registered nurse graduate.


Crystal Oldman is chief executive of the Queen’s Nursing Institute. 

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