The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) have today launched a consultation into nurse training in the UK.
The review will explore whether nurses whould be generalists or specialists, if they should be graduates, and how much of their training should be conducted in the community.
Experts will also examine whether to keep the branchbased training structure and how to consolidate the knowledge and skills of newly qualified nurses.
"The aim of this project is to establish how we can ensure nurse training is safe, effective and fit for purpose in a changing healthcare environment marked by an ageing population, advances in technology and changes to the way in which services are provided," said Sarah Thewlis, NMC Chief Executive Officer and Registrar.
"We are now hoping that a wide range of organisations and individuals will respond to the review, and would encourage everyone from commissioners, education providers, professionals, students and service users to participate."
Dr Peter Carter, General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, said that the consultation is a "good starting point".
He adds: "The Royal College of Nursing recognises that the nursing workforce needs to change so it can better meet the needs of patients in the future. That means looking at ways of improving pre- and post registration training and education of nurses to align the workforce with clinical demands.
"We now plan to consult our members for their views of the proposed changes and will feed those back to the Nursing and Midwifery Council."
Your comments: (Terms and conditions apply) "As a general and mental health trained nurse now working in mental health nurse education, I feel that all nurses should initially be trained as generalsts. However, we should be very careful to ensure that there is sufficient input relating to mental health in addition to all of the other specialist knowledge areas. It should be recognised that all nurses need considerable mental health knowledge and nursing skills and this should be addressed within any education programme.