All new nurses will be educated to degree level from 2013 making them better equipped to improve the quality of patient care, Health Minister Ann Keen announced today.
The minimum level for pre-registration courses for nurses will be raised from diploma to degree level and these courses will meet new standards developed by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), the professional regulator for nursing.
The timetable for implementation puts in place the NMC recommendation to make all courses for new nurses degree level.
This recommendation came after the four UK Health Departments asked the NMC to carry out a consultation and review of pre-registration nurse education and is supported by all the key nursing bodies.
The Nursing and Midwifery Council is developing new standards and competences for pre-registration nurse education. They will consult widely early in 2010 and announce the new standard and competencies in Autumn 2010. It is expected that programmes at degree level using the new standards will start from September 2011.