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RCN Scotland opposes nursing student cuts

Further cuts to the number of nursing students in Scotland will result in patient care being compromised, it is warned.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Scotland has hit out at the Scottish Government's plan to cut nursing student numbers by 10% in 2012-13.

The proposed cut, coupled with the 12% reduction agreed with RCN Scotland this year (2011-12), will mean total nursing and midwifery student numbers will be at their lowest for 15 years in the country.

“Year-on-year cuts like this are not sustainable,” said Theresa Fyffe, Director of RCN Scotland.

“Last year we agreed, reluctantly, to a 12% cut in numbers for 2011-12, but all the evidence we've gathered shows that this further cut in numbers in 2012-13 risks there not being enough professionally qualified nurses graduating to meet the demand for health services in the future and that this cut will be bad for patient care.”

Fyffe criticised Scottish health boards for cutting nursing posts in a “short-sighted” bid to save money, and rubbished their claim that fewer nurses will be needed as care is increasingly moved into the community.


Question: Do you agree that cutting nursing student numbers will result in poor patient care?