Surgeon claims degree-only training has lead to the 'demise of hands-on compassionate' nurses

The surgeon claims by making nursing degree-only has led to the “demise of the traditional hands-on compassionate nurse”

Mr Robert Jackson, who is described by the paper as a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, has publically claimed that the decision to make nursing a degree-only profession has lead to the demise of "traditional hand-on compassionate" nurses.

The comment was a reply to an editorial published online which argued that nursing had “lost its humanity” when it became a graduate profession and that “young British women” were now shunning it as a “go-to career destination”.


In the letter published on 20 January, he also he suggests that nurses were merely employed to “support” doctors and recent changes to training were contributing to the destruction of the NHS.

The comments come amid the worst winter the NHS has ever seen and the news that the NHS is ‘haemorrhaging’ nurses as significantly more are leaving the profession than joining.

Mr Jackson said:

“Thirty years ago my doctor colleagues and I were strongly opposed to the introduction of nursing degrees, but no one took any notice.

“While nursing degrees may have introduced a new tier of healthcare worker to support the over-stretched medical profession, they also led to the demise of the traditional hands-on compassionate nurse".

“The loss of vocational nursing will do more to destroy our much-admired heath service than any level of mismanagement.”

Experts have argued, however, that the role of the nurse has substantially 'modernised' with nurses becoming independent practitioners - rather than simply 'doctors assistants'.