Scotland’s Flying Start for newly qualified nurses sets example for rest of UK
Newly qualified nurses in Scotland are to receive additional support during their first in year in practice through an enhanced version of the country’s Flying Start programme, and its success could benefit NHS Scotland for years to come
Newly qualified nurses in Scotland are to receive additional support during their first in year in practice through an enhanced version of the country’s Flying Start programme. All we need now is for the rest of the UK to catch up.
The scheme has been in place for several years, and still serves a useful purpose in helping nursing students complete the transition to confident and competent practitioners.
Medicine has always accepted that doctors do not start their first jobs with all the knowledge and skills required to make a success of their roles. By contrast, staff shortages mean newly qualified nurses are often expected to hit the ground running at full speed, and can be left in charge of wards – with all the responsibility that entails – from the outset.
Nurses who are new to practice deserve the opportunity to make the adjustment from student to registered practitioner in a more structured environment that offers practical and emotional support.
The new-look Flying Start programme is designed to do that in Scotland, and the country’s health and care services stand to benefit for years to come if the scheme is successful. Similar investment in nursing in the rest of the UK would be most welcome.