Brighton’s student nurses have been offered reassurance about their diploma course after the Government announced that nursing would be open only to those with a degree.
Dr Shirley Bach, head of the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Brighton University, said: “It means nurses will be educated to the same level as other health professionals.
“What it doesn’t mean is that the current diploma course and those nurses already qualified with a diploma will in any way be devalued.
“I’m pleased that people choosing nursing as a career are not being dissuaded in any way.
“Inquiries from people wanting to take our diploma courses are continuing to come in.”
The new degree standard is expected to be introduced in 2013. The university will continue to offer its diploma courses until 2011. It will also help diploma nurses to top up their qualifications or to specialise.
At present just over a quarter of the 315,000 nurses in England currently have a degree.
The aim of setting the qualifications for nurses at degree level is to enable them to deal with the increasingly complex care health needs of a modern society.
The proposal has caused considerable controversy already, with opponents speaking out and sending letters to The Times, the newspaper which broke the story.
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