The controversial article published by Nursing in Practice tells nurses ‘If you can’t be enthusiastic, do something else’.
George Coxon’s article ‘If you can’t be enthusiastic, do something else‘ calls for nurses who are negative about the current state of the NHS to leave the profession despite 27% more nurses leaving the Nursing and Midwifery register than joining.
In the article Coxon says; “It may be controversial but when talking about the current plight of our profession, I always come back one thing: no one likes a whinger“.
Adding that nurses need to have self-respect and not get “maudlin about Brexit, about revalidation, about pressure and workload“.
He then goes on to quote journalist Christina Patterson in her 2011 talk ‘Care to be Nurse’ by saying; “If you can’t get beyond feeling negative, do something else“.
According to the Nursing in Practice website, Coxon is a qualified mental health nurse, a member of the Nursing In Practice advisory board, UK Chair of the Mental Health Nurse Association, chair of Devon Care Kite Mark and the owner of Pottles Court and Summercourt Care Homes.
But, a recent report from the Royal College of Nursing demonstrates that healthcare professionals have a right to be angry when the majority feel the ongoing chronic staffing shortage is compromising the care given to patients.
The report also reveals that 7 in 10 nurses in England said their last daytime shift exceeded NICE guidelines and a quarter reported shifts with 14 or more patients per nurse.
Finally, with half of all respondents saying no action was taken when they raised concerns about staffing levels, nurses are not ‘whinging’ they are striving to have their concerns heard but are instead ignored and chronically overworked and undervalued.
As a healthcare leader, Coxon’s comments are not only irresponsible but also dangerous. We need to be valuing our ever-shrinking workforce and listening to their concerns at every step rather than trying to silence them.