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Nurses missing essential training, survey reveals

According to a new survey by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) nearly a fifth of nurses have missed out on essential training.

The survey found that 85% of nurses have completed essential training in their own time during the last year.  

Over 14,000 nurses took part and nearly half (44.4%) said they had not completed training because there were too few staff to cover their work, while 48% of those who had undertaken the training said no cover was provided while they were absent. Just under a quarter (24.9%) have had to use their annual leave for it.

The report also highlights potential issues for the NMC's new system of revalidation, which will require nurses to demonstrate that they have undertaken 40 hours of CPD during a three-year period.

More than a third (34.5%) of nurses do not feel up to date with core training and less than half those surveyed (45.3%) felt confident that their employer will give them access to sufficient professional development.

Dr Peter Carter, Chief Executive and General Secretary of the RCN, said: “It is absolutely critical that all nurses receive essential training each year to maintain standards of care for patients, and it is extremely worrying that almost one in five nurses has not been able to do this.

“Whoever forms the next Government must ensure that access to training is a fundamental part of its offer to nursing staff who keep the NHS going day after day, year after year. RCN members have highlighted this as one of their main priorities for the future of the health service ahead of the General Election.   

“It is unacceptable that workplaces are so short staffed that nurses cannot be released for training, and it is shameful that many have to do essential sessions in their own time.”