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    (Original post by PaediatricStN)
    Although it's not nice to have debt hanging over you, 75% of students will never repay their loans and the average amount of debt written off is estimated to be about £30,000. (Institute of Fiscal Studies) Repayments are small, especially when you only earn just over £21K. So in some ways, I don't get what the issue is. That said, I don't feel student nurses should have to pay tuition fees anyway, because of the amount they give back to the NHS in the form of placement and then working as a qualified.

    If we're going to keep not charging tuition fees, we have to look at one key thing with regards to workforce planning and this is age of students. We had a few students on my course in their mid 50s. By the time they qualify they can offer a max service to the NHS, of 10 years. Younger graduates however can offer 30-40 years of service and this seems a far better return on investment for the government. How can we be training nurses only for them to need to retire after 7 years!? Doesn't seem right to me. Of the approx 30,000 rejected applicants each year, I'm sure there are some young applicants equally as suitable. We need to be recruitimg for the long term future of nursing and not just the next 5 years. We praise the diversity of ages in nursing courses, however it is simply not financially viable, or common sense for workforce planning.

    Younger students are also less likely to have dependents and a mortgage, sick elderley relatives etc etc and therefore this also decreases their risk of attrition - another problem we have.

    As a side note about the bursary... As with most systems, the bursary penalises those in the middle of the wealth hierarchy. I was only eligible for £1000 a year from the NHS. The rest (Apart from the maintenance loan) my parents had to save up for a few years before to help me out.
    I believe the main issue with repayments is the fact that nurses pay hasn't increased in a while and possibly the worry if it could affect someone's ability to pay for a mortgage.

    I believe that it could be bordering on discrimination to have something along those lines and I ve met a good few nurses in their 60s.i have no intentions of ever leaving the profession but I do want a couple of kids at some point so there ll be a year or two that I won't be able to work for that and I suppose mature students may have had all their children before starting the course. I think that saying you must work for the NHS or at least for uk for say 5-10 years after graduation or have to pay the bursary back would be a good possible compromise.

    It could just be that I ve been you could say unlucky on the sick relatives front but just because I m in my 20s doesn't mean I don't end up attending funerals or someone gets a terminal diagnosis every couple of years of my life so although being younger means I m not a parent or have a mortgage I do worry that at some point I ll end up needing compassionate leave.

    I do agree that as all students have to do the same amount of work that the bursary system is pretty flawed in that sense. My mum hasn't been able to afford to support me at all but then as adults I m not sure why anyone should be expected to as a parent.
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    Yes exactly, introducing student loan repayments when there were none before effectively equates to a new "graduate tax" on this profession that have seen their working conditions suffer over the past 5 years yet their pay has remained frozen.

    The conservatives are gambling on the fact that nursing degrees are currently popular and not all that apply are able to get a place, and this is a dangerous strategy that put's our public's health on the line.

    If they think having to pay for this degree will have no impact on the number of applicants then I think they need to talk to some nurses and think again. If their strategy does not pay off, applicants fall and more students drop out, what is the plan B? We already have nursing listed as a shortage occupation to allow more foreign nurses to work here, effectively robbing less well off countries of their trained nurses.

    Then there is the leaked NICE guidance on safe nursing staffing numbers that shows exactly how bad the current situation is, that the department of health at the government have ....neglected to publish.

    My only conclusion can be that conservatives seek to undermine the NHS in order to blame it for poor performance and give a reason to privatise it.
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    (Original post by ForestCat)
    I really don't think any one is 'bashing' younger nurses. But it was more a recognition of how difficult it can be coming straight from school in to such a position of responsibility and where you really are the front line who can be subjected to a lot of challenging and difficult situations. You guys may have faired well, but for a lot of 18 year olds, who have perhaps never even had a job, it can be very confronting. Nursing is a very diverse career and we need to make sure we are recruiting a diverse range of people, old and young, to the job.

    And as for the loan situation? Of course it makes a difference, a huge one! People may be better off during training but they certainly won't be afterwards. Sure it may get written off, but only after a careers length of 25/30 years. And so for many people, their whole working careers (and lets face it, most will stay at band 5) they will have an additional payment coming out each and every month. And for people with mortgages, kids etc this will have a massive impact. The take home salary really isn't big enough to be able to afford more money coming out each month. So I think the amount of mature student will definitely drop and this will have a huge impact on the NHS.

    Thank you ForestCat! That was exactly the point I was trying to make!! The nature of nursing is changing dramatically as we get sicker patients, more complex patients with the ever increasing pressure for beds, more demand on social care whilst with less respect for the nursing profession from the general public. The pressures in general medicine at the moment are at an all-time high with it only set to get worse in the coming years. The 18-21 year old student nurse is exposed to more highly challenging, stressful and psychologically damaging situations than the average 18-21 year old. Not every 18-21 year old is emotionally equipped to deal with these stresses and pressures. Even after 4 years of experience I find it overwhelming at times. I recently had a terrible shift where it was just relentless. Confused, wandering patients, 4 admissions one after the other from MAU with two of those extremely sick needing constant attention. It was non-stop, there was only me and an HCA with 11 patients and a supervised bay to look after, turns to do and in the midst of this one of my new admissions died and I had to deal with the grand-daughter having a panic attack and full on breakdown to the point she couldn’t breathe. I was also supporting the junior nurses with problems with relatives and their challenging situations as well as my own. It was too much, and I did breakdown and cry. The first time I have ever done so at work and that is with experience. This is not uncommon in medicine, it is the norm and I fear that this is too much pressure to be placing upon people in general, let alone NQN 21 year olds which is why I feel like experience is going to become a necessity.

    Not to mention, student nurses are going to have to deal with this and the pressures of their course on top, it’s an awful lot of pressure. Even in DME, things have changed dramatically and the already complex patients we were dealing with are now even more complex, and this is in the 4years I have been qualified. And as a mentor I do notice a difference in those who have previous care experience and those who don’t, and when it comes to signing them off on their placements, it does now matter and I will explain why. It is not uncommon for student nurses to be afraid of even communicating with the patient and it takes time to develop their basic skills. This is no problem for me. I am a hands on mentor and I get stuck in with my students in the thick of things and it is a part of my role that I enjoy. However, now that placements are now graded, whereas before it was a simple case of pass/fail, it does matter. So many students get disheartened when I only give them a mark of 50% for achieving all of their competencies and achieving the required level. But it’s hard to explain to them that they have done a great job and are progressing as they should. If I need to be teaching them how to become a more autonomous practitioner and more skills in order for them to achieve higher grades then they need to have experience coming into healthcare so I can move them on quicker. Maybe this is just a flaw of the current degree programme and it’s not something that I agree with.

    I also think that assertiveness is not something you can teach in a classroom or on a course, it is a learned skill that comes with experience and practice. It’s becoming increasingly difficult for young nurses to be assertive in challenging situations. In DME, many young nurses do not get respect from relatives and the patients because they don’t feel like they are knowledgeable enough to be handling such complex patients and it really does take a lot of balls for them to be assertive. Elderly patients are challenging and when you are being hit, kicked, scratched, sworn at constantly for 12.5 hours it’s often too much for younger nurses to deal with. Even for experienced nurses and HCA’s it’s too much and we are driven to the brink of despair. Then there’s the arguments with bed managers who have 20+ years experience who think they know it all and bully you, it’s so much for a young NQN to take in. I always support my NQN’s and I will show them how to deal with difficult situations or talk them through what they need to be doing, or give other people a good *******ing for their incompetence on my NQN’s behalf. We have a running joke of when I am not there and they have to fend for themselves they tell me they think “What would Alex say?” to get them through their stressful situation. We have a laugh and reflect upon how they dealt with it. I would never leave my nurses or HCA’s in a position where they felt unsupported and I do my best, but as I say, assertiveness is a learned skill that comes with experience.

    Again I am not bashing young nurses. I trained when I was 18 and managed to be assertive as have many of you but I still reiterate the above points. It does not mean they are not competent or good nurses but with the increasing demands of the profession it’s a lot of pressure to be putting on young people and is a lot for them to deal with mentally. It’s something I do worry about and I think in areas such as mine you do need experience prior to commencing your training.

    Also, not every mature student is in their 40’s and 50’s with only 10 or so years to offer the NHS. Many mature students are in their late 20’s and 30’s who still have a good 30 years to offer the NHS, who have bills to pay, childcare to pay for etc. Mature students do make up a good portion of nursing students and I fear that we will be missing out on their experience and what they bring to nursing. Having 18 year olds thrown straight into nursing does have its advantages for sure as they are more open to change, are not afraid to try new things, very enthusiastic and are definitely in touch with academia whereas mature students so sometimes struggle with assignment writing etc. but it does have its drawbacks too. Many have never had a job before with little life experience so when they are thrown into nursing it is a massive shock to the system. Most 18 year olds still do not know what they want to do with their lives so when they are thrust into nursing they soon find out whether it’s for them or not and this is why I fear such a high drop-out rate and eventually, low applicant rate.
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    I am a third year student and will be 50 when I qualify. I am fitter than a lot of my cohort and have no intention of retiring after ten years. My life experience is unique and I can bring a huge amount to the profession, something that the uni's I applied to appreciated otherwise I wouldn't have received the offers that I did. I agree that I won't be working for 30 years but how many younger nurses give up nursing after five or so years and never return?
    Although 50 might sound ancient to someone in their twenties, it really isn't, as you will see if you're lucky enough to get there!
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    oh, and just to add, there aren't that many students in their late forties at my uni, so don't worry, we aren't taking over! There are far more in the late 20-30's age bracket. At every age we all bring something unique to nursing, that's the great thing about it and not something that I would want to change.
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    (Original post by lilibet01)
    oh, and just to add, there aren't that many students in their late forties at my uni, so don't worry, we aren't taking over! There are far more in the late 20-30's age bracket. At every age we all bring something unique to nursing, that's the great thing about it and not something that I would want to change.
    I've applied for September, married for 6 years and have 3 young children and I'm 29. I think that we all bring something young and older, on my access I have met some very determined 20 year olds that study hard and play harder, I've met 20 year olds that can't be asked and think uni offers are going to land in their lap. On the flip side I've met parents my age that use their kids as an excuse as to why they can't study, turn up etc...........me? My kids and my husband are my reason for doing this, they are my motivation my support and my very own cheer team......I have a 100% attendance, all distinctions so far and I volunteer and one of my children is still in pre school only part time and my son is on the autistic spectrum. What I'm saying in a round about way is that age is just a number it depends on the individual and how determined they are all be it 18 or 55.

    With regards to the bursaries would I apply next year if I didn't get a place this year knowing I will have to saddle myself with debt and work for free doing triple the work I do now?? It would be a massive consideration, I'm not sure which way it would go once all the details have been ironed out by the government,but I can see it would put off a lot of mature students as a lot of women, especially lone parents struggle financially even on the access course.


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    Im currently on my access course and 30 years old. I have 3 children and one due in April. Out of all my options i am only waiting for one reply sadly the rest i have been rejected from. Reading each of your comments i agree on all parts, personally i shall continue to apply even when the financial help ends purely because it is my passion. But im very concerned what situation my family will be in because of the loans ill need to take out to live. My partner will have to support us which is a lot of pressure on one person. Very worrying times for all future students.
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    (Original post by gothicdreamer20)
    Im currently on my access course and 30 years old. I have 3 children and one due in April. Out of all my options i am only waiting for one reply sadly the rest i have been rejected from. Reading each of your comments i agree on all parts, personally i shall continue to apply even when the financial help ends purely because it is my passion. But im very concerned what situation my family will be in because of the loans ill need to take out to live. My partner will have to support us which is a lot of pressure on one person. Very worrying times for all future students.
    You can still consider reapplying for spring 2017 when you ve gotten your grades so don't lose hope quite yet.
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    (Original post by Ameliagrace2014)
    I've applied for September, married for 6 years and have 3 young children and I'm 29. I think that we all bring something young and older, on my access I have met some very determined 20 year olds that study hard and play harder, I've met 20 year olds that can't be asked and think uni offers are going to land in their lap. On the flip side I've met parents my age that use their kids as an excuse as to why they can't study, turn up etc...........me? My kids and my husband are my reason for doing this, they are my motivation my support and my very own cheer team......I have a 100% attendance, all distinctions so far and I volunteer and one of my children is still in pre school only part time and my son is on the autistic spectrum. What I'm saying in a round about way is that age is just a number it depends on the individual and how determined they are all be it 18 or 55.

    With regards to the bursaries would I apply next year if I didn't get a place this year knowing I will have to saddle myself with debt and work for free doing triple the work I do now?? It would be a massive consideration, I'm not sure which way it would go once all the details have been ironed out by the government,but I can see it would put off a lot of mature students as a lot of women, especially lone parents struggle financially even on the access course.


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    For that top paragraph, I think you're AMAZING! Wishing you the very best of luck for your applications. Which branch have you applied for?
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    (Original post by ButterflyRN)
    Thank you ForestCat! That was exactly the point I was trying to make!! The nature of nursing is changing dramatically as we get sicker patients, more complex patients with the ever increasing pressure for beds, more demand on social care whilst with less respect for the nursing profession from the general public. The pressures in general medicine at the moment are at an all-time high with it only set to get worse in the coming years. The 18-21 year old student nurse is exposed to more highly challenging, stressful and psychologically damaging situations than the average 18-21 year old. Not every 18-21 year old is emotionally equipped to deal with these stresses and pressures. Even after 4 years of experience I find it overwhelming at times. I recently had a terrible shift where it was just relentless. Confused, wandering patients, 4 admissions one after the other from MAU with two of those extremely sick needing constant attention. It was non-stop, there was only me and an HCA with 11 patients and a supervised bay to look after, turns to do and in the midst of this one of my new admissions died and I had to deal with the grand-daughter having a panic attack and full on breakdown to the point she couldn’t breathe. I was also supporting the junior nurses with problems with relatives and their challenging situations as well as my own. It was too much, and I did breakdown and cry. The first time I have ever done so at work and that is with experience. This is not uncommon in medicine, it is the norm and I fear that this is too much pressure to be placing upon people in general, let alone NQN 21 year olds which is why I feel like experience is going to become a necessity.

    Not to mention, student nurses are going to have to deal with this and the pressures of their course on top, it’s an awful lot of pressure. Even in DME, things have changed dramatically and the already complex patients we were dealing with are now even more complex, and this is in the 4years I have been qualified. And as a mentor I do notice a difference in those who have previous care experience and those who don’t, and when it comes to signing them off on their placements, it does now matter and I will explain why. It is not uncommon for student nurses to be afraid of even communicating with the patient and it takes time to develop their basic skills. This is no problem for me. I am a hands on mentor and I get stuck in with my students in the thick of things and it is a part of my role that I enjoy. However, now that placements are now graded, whereas before it was a simple case of pass/fail, it does matter. So many students get disheartened when I only give them a mark of 50% for achieving all of their competencies and achieving the required level. But it’s hard to explain to them that they have done a great job and are progressing as they should. If I need to be teaching them how to become a more autonomous practitioner and more skills in order for them to achieve higher grades then they need to have experience coming into healthcare so I can move them on quicker. Maybe this is just a flaw of the current degree programme and it’s not something that I agree with.

    I also think that assertiveness is not something you can teach in a classroom or on a course, it is a learned skill that comes with experience and practice. It’s becoming increasingly difficult for young nurses to be assertive in challenging situations. In DME, many young nurses do not get respect from relatives and the patients because they don’t feel like they are knowledgeable enough to be handling such complex patients and it really does take a lot of balls for them to be assertive. Elderly patients are challenging and when you are being hit, kicked, scratched, sworn at constantly for 12.5 hours it’s often too much for younger nurses to deal with. Even for experienced nurses and HCA’s it’s too much and we are driven to the brink of despair. Then there’s the arguments with bed managers who have 20+ years experience who think they know it all and bully you, it’s so much for a young NQN to take in. I always support my NQN’s and I will show them how to deal with difficult situations or talk them through what they need to be doing, or give other people a good *******ing for their incompetence on my NQN’s behalf. We have a running joke of when I am not there and they have to fend for themselves they tell me they think “What would Alex say?” to get them through their stressful situation. We have a laugh and reflect upon how they dealt with it. I would never leave my nurses or HCA’s in a position where they felt unsupported and I do my best, but as I say, assertiveness is a learned skill that comes with experience.

    Again I am not bashing young nurses. I trained when I was 18 and managed to be assertive as have many of you but I still reiterate the above points. It does not mean they are not competent or good nurses but with the increasing demands of the profession it’s a lot of pressure to be putting on young people and is a lot for them to deal with mentally. It’s something I do worry about and I think in areas such as mine you do need experience prior to commencing your training.

    Also, not every mature student is in their 40’s and 50’s with only 10 or so years to offer the NHS. Many mature students are in their late 20’s and 30’s who still have a good 30 years to offer the NHS, who have bills to pay, childcare to pay for etc. Mature students do make up a good portion of nursing students and I fear that we will be missing out on their experience and what they bring to nursing. Having 18 year olds thrown straight into nursing does have its advantages for sure as they are more open to change, are not afraid to try new things, very enthusiastic and are definitely in touch with academia whereas mature students so sometimes struggle with assignment writing etc. but it does have its drawbacks too. Many have never had a job before with little life experience so when they are thrown into nursing it is a massive shock to the system. Most 18 year olds still do not know what they want to do with their lives so when they are thrust into nursing they soon find out whether it’s for them or not and this is why I fear such a high drop-out rate and eventually, low applicant rate.
    As many times as you tell me you’re not bemoaning junior nurses, you’re not going to change my mind from the fact that you are. In the same paragraph as saying you aren’t bemoaning us, you’re questioning our competence. I have some strong opinions, especially when it comes to nurse education;however I’ve never taken it as far as questioning a practitioner group’s abilities. I reiterate; we all met the NMC Standards, and got signed off as competent and fit to enter the register. I asked you about this in my previous comment,but you didn’t respond. If you don’t feel the NMC criteria for entering the register stringent enough, then please, contact them expressing your concerns that the standards are too lenient.Otherwise, I think you need to keep quiet.

    I don’t want to fall out with you, as I know we have shared some interesting and productive discussions on here previously, however I actually find your comments really quite offensive, and you’d be wise go away and reflect upon them and consider what damage they could do to a NQNs confidence reading them (Though not mine, I’m not phased). You’re tarring all NQNs with the same brush based on yourexperience on your ward with a few of them. Perhaps, rather than question allNQNs, you might want to give some feedback to the senior nurse in your Trust who leads on NQ recruitment, to see if in future you can find some better ones.I guarantee they are out there.

    Nurses do have less respect from the public; so even more so, we need it from our colleagues – especially senior ones. We need you to believe in us, not question our ability.

    I can’t compare your ward to mine, as I work in paeds, and it’s a different world and I’m not going to get into a debate over whose ward is most challenging or which area is most difficult, as they all present their own unique challenges and we must respect those that work in all areas, however highly, or not, we think of them. I am part of a preceptorship programme, which combines NQ adult& children’s nurses (As well as midwives and ODPs) from across my Trust. I know from the general group feedback that we are all finding it good – and most of us are young, and so had very little clinical experience before our training.

    Funnily enough, on this programme we also did a recent discussion about handling difficult situations. No it didn’t teach me any assertiveness,but I felt greatly empowered by it. There is value to a theoretical session,but of course it must be supported by the practical outworking of the theoretical knowledge in real life situations.

    Where we encounter issues with our nurses is at the recruitment for degrees. I’ve said a lot on this in my time, but I believe this has to be far more stringent in order to weed out those for whom nursing isn’t for them and ensure we give the places to someone else. This is hard, however I believe it can be done. If we resolve the degree recruitment, I thinkwe resolve a lot of the problems we have. It’s about getting in the right youngpeople, and I have a lot of faith that they are out there.

    I worked in widening participation for my university. In sessions in sixth forms that I ran, as wellas on two 3 day summer schools, I met hundreds of prospective student nurses. Overall,were all of them suitable? No, of course not. We don’t need all of them to be suitable. With nursing being so over-subscribed, we can afford to have asubstandard applicant here or there. But take my word for it, there were someamazing young people there who I could see becoming brilliant nurses. Perhapsthis is why I have more faith in young people being suitable for nursing, thanyou.

    Young people are entering other challenging roles straight from education, such as the police force (Medicine too! Nurses get more hands on experience that med students),and nursing should be no different.
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    (Original post by ButterflyRN)
    Thank you ForestCat! That was exactly the point I was trying to make!! The nature of nursing is changing dramatically as we get sicker patients, more complex patients with the ever increasing pressure for beds, more demand on social care whilst with less respect for the nursing profession from the general public. The pressures in general medicine at the moment are at an all-time high with it only set to get worse in the coming years. The 18-21 year old student nurse is exposed to more highly challenging, stressful and psychologically damaging situations than the average 18-21 year old. Not every 18-21 year old is emotionally equipped to deal with these stresses and pressures. Even after 4 years of experience I find it overwhelming at times. I recently had a terrible shift where it was just relentless. Confused, wandering patients, 4 admissions one after the other from MAU with two of those extremely sick needing constant attention. It was non-stop, there was only me and an HCA with 11 patients and a supervised bay to look after, turns to do and in the midst of this one of my new admissions died and I had to deal with the grand-daughter having a panic attack and full on breakdown to the point she couldn’t breathe. I was also supporting the junior nurses with problems with relatives and their challenging situations as well as my own. It was too much, and I did breakdown and cry. The first time I have ever done so at work and that is with experience. This is not uncommon in medicine, it is the norm and I fear that this is too much pressure to be placing upon people in general, let alone NQN 21 year olds which is why I feel like experience is going to become a necessity.

    Not to mention, student nurses are going to have to deal with this and the pressures of their course on top, it’s an awful lot of pressure. Even in DME, things have changed dramatically and the already complex patients we were dealing with are now even more complex, and this is in the 4years I have been qualified. And as a mentor I do notice a difference in those who have previous care experience and those who don’t, and when it comes to signing them off on their placements, it does now matter and I will explain why. It is not uncommon for student nurses to be afraid of even communicating with the patient and it takes time to develop their basic skills. This is no problem for me. I am a hands on mentor and I get stuck in with my students in the thick of things and it is a part of my role that I enjoy. However, now that placements are now graded, whereas before it was a simple case of pass/fail, it does matter. So many students get disheartened when I only give them a mark of 50% for achieving all of their competencies and achieving the required level. But it’s hard to explain to them that they have done a great job and are progressing as they should. If I need to be teaching them how to become a more autonomous practitioner and more skills in order for them to achieve higher grades then they need to have experience coming into healthcare so I can move them on quicker. Maybe this is just a flaw of the current degree programme and it’s not something that I agree with.

    I also think that assertiveness is not something you can teach in a classroom or on a course, it is a learned skill that comes with experience and practice. It’s becoming increasingly difficult for young nurses to be assertive in challenging situations. In DME, many young nurses do not get respect from relatives and the patients because they don’t feel like they are knowledgeable enough to be handling such complex patients and it really does take a lot of balls for them to be assertive. Elderly patients are challenging and when you are being hit, kicked, scratched, sworn at constantly for 12.5 hours it’s often too much for younger nurses to deal with. Even for experienced nurses and HCA’s it’s too much and we are driven to the brink of despair. Then there’s the arguments with bed managers who have 20+ years experience who think they know it all and bully you, it’s so much for a young NQN to take in. I always support my NQN’s and I will show them how to deal with difficult situations or talk them through what they need to be doing, or give other people a good *******ing for their incompetence on my NQN’s behalf. We have a running joke of when I am not there and they have to fend for themselves they tell me they think “What would Alex say?” to get them through their stressful situation. We have a laugh and reflect upon how they dealt with it. I would never leave my nurses or HCA’s in a position where they felt unsupported and I do my best, but as I say, assertiveness is a learned skill that comes with experience.

    Again I am not bashing young nurses. I trained when I was 18 and managed to be assertive as have many of you but I still reiterate the above points. It does not mean they are not competent or good nurses but with the increasing demands of the profession it’s a lot of pressure to be putting on young people and is a lot for them to deal with mentally. It’s something I do worry about and I think in areas such as mine you do need experience prior to commencing your training.

    Also, not every mature student is in their 40’s and 50’s with only 10 or so years to offer the NHS. Many mature students are in their late 20’s and 30’s who still have a good 30 years to offer the NHS, who have bills to pay, childcare to pay for etc. Mature students do make up a good portion of nursing students and I fear that we will be missing out on their experience and what they bring to nursing. Having 18 year olds thrown straight into nursing does have its advantages for sure as they are more open to change, are not afraid to try new things, very enthusiastic and are definitely in touch with academia whereas mature students so sometimes struggle with assignment writing etc. but it does have its drawbacks too. Many have never had a job before with little life experience so when they are thrown into nursing it is a massive shock to the system. Most 18 year olds still do not know what they want to do with their lives so when they are thrust into nursing they soon find out whether it’s for them or not and this is why I fear such a high drop-out rate and eventually, low applicant rate.
    To the words in bold, if they are competent, why do you grade them only 50% (just a C grade)? Seeing as the grades now count and isn't a pass or fail anymore? That shows a misuse of your "power" as a mentor, because if they are doing well as student nurses, you should grade them higher, it is not their fault for being young and inexperienced. I believe that grading of practice should not be practiced because some nurses could dislike a student and take it out on them when grading and could give them lower marks, than what they deserve. From what I also gather, a mentor nurse's grade cannot be changed, so this is very spiteful to the student nurses.

    From what I also gather, most student nurses are used by the HCA's in hospitals and have to do the HCA jobs in some cases (most of these HCAs have been there for longer duration, so the nurses turn a blind eye). When understaffed, I would assume the student nurses would do HCA jobs as well? This is not supposed to be so, as they are student nurses not HCAs.

    You were once 18 too and inexperienced, so requiring 18 years olds to be experienced, sounds hypocritical of you.

    At least now people's perspective of nurses will change as the degree becomes a prerequisite for getting a nursing qualification, they would know that it requires academic and practical ability as well, not only the practical side. To your point about life experience, that means nothing to be honest, nursing (from what I gather) is now both academic and practical. The students would acquire all they need to know during practice, maybe at first (during their first years) they might not be experienced, but you surely can't tell me that a 2nd year student (irregardless of their age/ "experience") is not experienced enough for you?
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    Can I point out there is a huge difference between being competent in a skill and being expert in it. Just being you're competent in a range of skills when you qualify does not mean you suddenly know it all or you've learnt all that you need to. Competency is simply liking at whether someone is safe and effective in practising a skill and thus can undertake it independently in the future.

    I think people in this thread are turning a general discussion, on nursing education and the future of nursing, in to personal attacks and need to calm down a little. There are different points to every argument and we are simply exploring them.

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    Everyone is entitled to their opinion, why shoot someone down in flames if you disagree with them?
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    I think we posted at the same time Forest Cat!
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    (Original post by Smile88egc)
    I agree I think it will be hugely detrimental to training UK nurses. But it seems current nursing students, and even those who are currently applying, don't really care as it won't affect them.

    I feel we have a duty to kick up a fuss about these on behalf of those in the future who will want to train as a nurse, but won't be able to afford to. I have written to my MP saying what a bad idea I think it is, as someone who works in the NHS, but I'm frustrated, I don't know what more I can do. There doesn't seem to be much protest happening at all.

    And before our eyes, the inequality between those with well off families, and those without keeps getting wider.
    Just train to teach, I'm going to get £166/day to train.
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    (Original post by ForestCat)
    Can I point out there is a huge difference between being competent in a skill and being expert in it. Just being you're competent in a range of skills when you qualify does not mean you suddenly know it all or you've learnt all that you need to. Competency is simply liking at whether someone is safe and effective in practising a skill and thus can undertake it independently in the future.

    I think people in this thread are turning a general discussion, on nursing education and the future of nursing, in to personal attacks and need to calm down a little. There are different points to every argument and we are simply exploring them.

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    I never claimed NQNs to be expert. I claimed us to be competent and was pointing out that young people have a lot to offer nursing.

    I never turned this personal and have not carried this theme on. Like I say, I have strong opinions, and yes I am very passionate, but I don't take it as far as questioning anyone's competence, and basically implying they shouldn't be on the register.
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    (Original post by PaediatricStN)
    I never claimed NQNs to be expert. I claimed us to be competent and was pointing out that young people have a lot to offer nursing.

    I never turned this personal and have not carried this theme on. Like I say, I have strong opinions, and yes I am very passionate, but I don't take it as far as questioning anyone's competence, and basically implying they shouldn't be on the register.
    I think telling another poster that ' Otherwise, I think you need to keep quiet' because they were offering a differing opinion to yours is taking it too far. But really my point was people have taken a conversation about the merits of coming in to nursing later, and the challenges younger nurses can face, as an attack on younger nurses. It really isn't. But you cannot say there is not a difference between an 18 year old, fresh out of school and a thirty something who has say been a police officer or raised 3 kids. And before you say I am attacking young nurses, I was one. I am one.

    And no one is saying that young people don't have a lot to offer. What we are saying is we are likely to miss out on a whole wealth of experience from mature students because of the changes to funding.

    Can I perhaps ask you to re-read Butterfly's posts. Because I get a completely different message from it than you appear to. She is not bashing younger nurses but exploring the challenges they face and how their age can impact them. And as someone who was 19 when I started, and most of my student colleagues were similar ages, I can see exactly what she is talking about.
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    (Original post by ForestCat)
    I think telling another poster that ' Otherwise, I think you need to keep quiet' because they were offering a differing opinion to yours is taking it too far. But really my point was people have taken a conversation about the merits of coming in to nursing later, and the challenges younger nurses can face, as an attack on younger nurses. It really isn't. But you cannot say there is not a difference between an 18 year old, fresh out of school and a thirty something who has say been a police officer or raised 3 kids. And before you say I am attacking young nurses, I was one. I am one.

    And no one is saying that young people don't have a lot to offer. What we are saying is we are likely to miss out on a whole wealth of experience from mature students because of the changes to funding.

    Can I perhaps ask you to re-read Butterfly's posts. Because I get a completely different message from it than you appear to. She is not bashing younger nurses but exploring the challenges they face and how their age can impact them. And as someone who was 19 when I started, and most of my student colleagues were similar ages, I can see exactly what she is talking about.
    I hardly think that's as personal as questioning competence.

    There is differences, of course. But this doesn't mean mature student nurses are better than younger ones, as some of the posters in this conversation are strongly implying...

    I've actually already read Butterfly's posts a number of times, and I know I am not the only NQN to feel offended by her comments - so clearly it isn't just me being irrational. Why don't we instead, talk about the merits of entering nursing young, and the disadvantages of entering it as a mature student, and see how the mature students feel...? I reckon they'd feel the same as I do now. You're not really even discussing the "challenges" we face. You're discussing how you think we basically can't hack nursing. It's impossible not to see it as a biased argument against young nurses, when only our downsides are being discussed.

    I don't think others actually understand just how upset I am (And others) by the comments in this thread, and hence this will be my last post on this topic.
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    Will be interesting to see whether many people will apply to nursing once these loans are introduced. Having the bursary is one of the reason that appealed many to undertake the course. Also Nursing is one of the most stressful courses by having 6 months of full time placement which is unpaid and working a variety of shifts and having to complete essays and revise some might just choose a different career path which will benefit them now that they have to pay. If they increase the starting salary of NQN's then i would see more interest.
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    All people are unique. Whether 18 or 48 when they start training, we all have the potential to be outstanding nurses. Life experience is not the be all and end all. Everybody brings different things to the table.

    To be questioned on age alone is unfair. How is a 21 year old NQN different to a 35 year old NQN who had an unrelated previous career? They're both probably nervous, occasionally unsure and requiring support.
 
 
 
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