Your views

Readers’ panel: Should nurses be able to access a fast track into medical training?

The government has suggested nurses could train ‘more quickly’ to become doctors
Illustration showing a nurse on one side and the same person as a doctor on the other side. Health and social care secretary Matt Hancock said that nurses will be able to train as doctors ‘more quickly’ now that the UK has left the EU

The government has suggested nurses could train more quickly to become doctors

To help address NHS staff vacancies, health and social care secretary Matt Hancock recently announced that nurses will be able to train as doctors more quickly now that the UK has left the EU. Nursing Standard readers have their say.

Liz Charalambous is a staff nurse in Nottingham @lizcharalambou

This initiative is unnecessary and counterproductive to solving the current staff shortages. It also appears to feed into unhelpful stereotypes and sends mixed messages about the role and function of nurses in todays healthcare system. I question the evidence base for this decision and whether there is an appetite for the scheme among nurses. I suspect it is yet another attempt at a quick fix to problems that require a

...

The government has suggested nurses could train ‘more quickly’ to become doctors

Illustration showing a nurse on one side and the same person as a doctor on the other side. Health and social care secretary Matt Hancock said that nurses will be able to train as doctors ‘more quickly’ now that the UK has left the EU
Picture: iStock

To help address NHS staff vacancies, health and social care secretary Matt Hancock recently announced that nurses will be able to train as doctors ‘more quickly’ now that the UK has left the EU. Nursing Standard readers have their say.

Liz Charalambous is a staff nurse in Nottingham
@lizcharalambou

This initiative is unnecessary and counterproductive to solving the current staff shortages. It also appears to feed into unhelpful stereotypes and sends mixed messages about the role and function of nurses in today’s healthcare system. I question the evidence base for this decision and whether there is an appetite for the scheme among nurses. I suspect it is yet another attempt at a ‘quick fix’ to problems that require a long term and thoughtful solution before it is too late.


Rachel Kent is a mental health nurse in London

We already have nurses trained as advanced clinical practitioners (ACPs), with positive feedback, so why not? While there is a clear distinction between an ACP and a doctor, why is it acceptable for a nurse to become an ACP but not a doctor? Is this a limitation we are imposing on ourselves? Not every nurse wants to train to be an ACP and not every nurse will want to become a doctor, but for those who do, I think it will bring a richness to the professions, which is encouraging.


Drew Payne is a community staff nurse in north London
@drew_london

This is just a headline-grabbing idea with no solid proposals behind it. Is this how the government sees us, as doctors-in-waiting? We are already short of nurses, and I don’t see how creaming off experienced ones will help solve the problem of staff shortages. A better idea would be to expand the training and use of advanced nurse practitioners. I know the proposal will appeal to some nurses, but is the way forward for the profession really as a pool of potential doctors?


Grant Byrne is a nursing student in Edinburgh
@GGByrne

For nurses wanting to make a career change to medicine, it makes sense that their nursing experience should count for something. Many elements of nursing and medical practice share the same knowledge base and many of our skills are transferable. With appropriate safeguards, I have little doubt a ‘fast track’ would be safe and effective. Although this could exacerbate the shortage of nurses, a career change is seldom taken lightly. If we want to keep nurses we need to make nursing a better career option, not make it harder to leave. 


Readers’ panel members give their views in a personal capacity only

Related

 

Want to read more?

Subscribe for unlimited access

Enjoy 1 month's access for £1 and get:

  • Full access to nursing standard.com and the Nursing Standard app
  • Monthly digital edition
  • RCNi Portfolio and interactive CPD quizzes
  • RCNi Learning with 200+ evidence-based modules
  • 10 articles a month from any other RCNi journal

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this?

Jobs