Is nursing a profession in crisis?

by ZOE BOLTON, Daily Mail online

Last updated at 12:00 14 June 2004

The nursing profession is under fire. Government pressure for nurses to expand their roles and take on more responsibility has led to claims that they are shunning traditional caring and becoming 'too posh to wash'.

Disputes over pay and working hours have prompted thousands of nurses to leave the NHS and seek employment in the private sector leading to a severe shortage of nurses.

Figures have also revealed that the positions are being filled by foreign nurses, who now account for nearly half of Britain's nursing recruits.

Despite this, nursing leaders' have warned that the shortage is likely to reach crisis point.

We look at the issues affecting nursing and ask: Is the profession in crisis?
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Changing role of nurses

The Government is calling for nurses to shoulder an increasing amount of responsibility in addition to their traditional care roles. Read our reports to find out more:

Nurses given more drugs powers


The pressure to concentrate on more techincal tasks has prompted nurses to consider abandoning their traditional bedside role, leaving them open to criticism that they are becoming 'too posh to wash'. Read our story and see what you think:

Too clever to care?

Pay and hours

Nurses have grown increasingly dissatisfied with their NHS pay packets, leaving the service for more money and better hours in the private sector. We examine the issues over pay and hours:

Shift system nurses 'set to quit'

Brown's pay woes deepen as nurses seek 15pc rise

Nurses say yes to 17.5 per cent pay offer

Nurses quit over low pay and poor morale

Critical shortages

Nursing leaders' have warned that the UK has not turned the corner in recruiting and retaining more nursing staff. Find out more about the nursing shortage:

Nurse shortage despite recruitment drive

Nursing shortages 'putting NHS plans at risk'

Recruitment solutions

The chronic shortage of nurses has forced the NHS to seek alternative solutions to the recruitment crisis. This has led to an increase in nurses from overseas and agency staff:

Foreign ideas to solve nursing skills crisis

Agency nursing costs £450m

Sharp rise in foreign nurses joining health service

Chaos that keeps skilled nurses off NHS wards

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