This site is intended for health professionals only

RCN survey 'paints grim picture'

Two in three nurses would opt out of the NHS pension scheme if contributions were to rise by 3% or more, a survey shows.

An employment survey conducted by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has led to fears nurses are being "pushed to breaking point".

Less than one in three (32%) of the 8,000 RCN members surveyed believe nursing would continue to offer a secure job in the future. This is an "extremely worrying" drop from 74% in 2009.

Confidence in job security has fallen at a more dramatic level among Scottish nurses, from 82% in 2009 to 30% in 2011.

The survey also revealed almost a third of nurses have personally experienced harassment or bullying from patients or their family.

Furthermore half of respondents said they wouldn't feel confident they would be treated fairly if they reported being harassed by a colleague.

The survey is said to paint "a grim picture for the profession".

"This report lays bare the true state of what is happening in hospitals and NHS workplaces up and down the country," said Dr Peter Carter, the RCN's chief executive and general secretary.

"Nurses are clearly hugely concerned about the not only the current state, but also the future of their profession.

"The high numbers of nurses and healthcare assistants experiencing bullying is completely unacceptable and all NHS staff should be able to care for patients, while feeling safe and properly supported by employers and without the threat of bullying, harassment and violence."