I once spent a year working as a nurse. There, that surprised you didn't it? Admittedly it was in Germany and was in a private clinic specialising in spinal injuries, but it was still nursing. I had no qualifications, no training and certainly no degree (it was my gap year).
So when I heard this morning that the NHS was now going to insist on a degree before nurses could train, I was dumbfounded. Not all nurses are academically gifted and would want to do a degree. Does a degree in astronomy make a nurse better able to do his or job, than four years hands on training? I'd have thought not, and yet all the nursing bodies seem to approve of the policy.
And are we going to insist that the foreign nurses recruited by the NHS have degrees too? I'd have thought that was impossible to enforce.
I'd love to hear what nurses themselves think. Would they have saddled themselves with £20k of debt before taking on one of the lowest paid graduate jobs there is?
UPDATE: Several commenters are pointing out that the mandatory degree is in nursing. On the face of it that has a certain logic to it, but on the other hand there are plenty of perfectly good nurses around who would struggle to get a degree. And the point about foreign nurses still stands.