To the nurses of tomorrow – hello and welcome

As a fresh cohort starts university, we support and celebrate nursing students – and offer some useful resources

As a fresh cohort starts university, we support and celebrate nursing students – and offer some useful resources

The next generation need our support to thrive in the profession. Picture: iStock

Tens of thousands of students will take up a place this month on nursing degree programmes. This is something to be celebrated.

Universities and Colleges Admissions Service figures released on A-level results day show a small increase (4%) on 2018 in the number of students accepted on to courses.

Of course, we need to attract many more students, to avert a steep decline in applicants in England since the loss of the bursary three years ago.

However, we must welcome those who have chosen nursing for the varied career pathways it offers and the opportunity it presents to drive improvements in care and make an important difference to people's lives.

You can sense staff nurse Charlotte Jakab-Hall's verve for her chosen career in her inspirational – and honest – piece for new students, in which she describes the highs and lows of being a nurse.

Our comprehensive educational resources are for everyone

We all need some help along the pathways of our careers, especially when starting out.

This is why we have pulled together as much expertise and as many resources as we can to support not only students but also qualified nurses, who will all now have a supervisory role as part of new Nursing and Midwifery Council education standards.

Our dedicated website area for new students hosts a selection of clinical articles on topics, such as using the ABCDE approach to assess detoriating patients, as well as personal support. 

Examining nursing student attrition

However, it would be wrong when talking about nursing students not to mention the drop-out rate that Nursing Standard has been tracking for some years now. It remains stubbornly high at 24%.

There are many reasons for this – money, ill health, academic or placement issues, for example – and much more needs to be done about it.

Students need support to survive – and thrive – in the profession. It is in all our interests to help them to do just that.

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