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Thu 5th Aug 2010

Specialist Nurse Training Set To Increase

The current Governments immigration cap is likely to push NHS trusts to provide additional nurse training. Nurse training in specialist areas such as theatre nursing and neonatal intensive care courses are likely to increase as a high proportion of foreign workers are currently being used to provide these services. At the moment the NHS relies on a significant number of foreign nurses from outside the EU. New recruits are likely to be affected by the temporary cap placed on immigration.

A temporary cap on non EU immigration began in July 2010. It limits the amount of British Visas available for non EU residents with skills on the shortage occupation list, including the two branches of nursing previously mentioned. The shortage occupation list is a list of crucial jobs that need to be filled in the UK, migrants applying for these jobs with the relevant skills could be fast tracked into the country to answer the demand. This means that the NHS will be obliged to train nurses from its own staff rather than recruiting from abroad. In some respects this could be a good thing, enabling nurses and carers with UK passports to further their careers and become more skilled workers.


Unfortunately there are some problems with the policy. Firstly it takes time to train nurses to be qualified in the necessary areas. Additionally most nursing undergraduates in the UK do not cover the areas of specialised nursing where there are shortages when at university. There is a direct link between subjects covered and practical experience of an area and later specialisations so the cause of this problem seems to be systemic. Ultimately there is a growing demand for NHS nursing services, up 9% this year already, and yet there are limitations on staffing numbers; something is going to have to give.


Due to a constant struggle to limit spending in the NHS the majority of nurses are already overstretched. A report by the Royal College of Nurses states that 16% of nursing positions are not filled as managers do not recruit staff in order to save money. However the cap on immigration will mean that there will be a desperate need for certain types of specialist nurses making it advantageous to take advanced relevant training, where possible.


Nursing courses are available all across the country covering a wide range of different services. Key areas for study include phlebotomy training and specialist nursing courses. If you would like more information about the types of training available please see Courses Plus' list of Nursing and Care training courses.