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As I write this editorial, I am halfway through a 6-month sabbatical in Canada. During this time, I have been observing the care nurses provide to patients in a children's hospital. I have been impressed with the care provided to children and their families by what is (currently) primarily a graduate registered nursing (RN) workforce. Nursing in England is gradually becoming a degree entry profession. The media has at times suggested that this is a bad thing for nursing and patient care. Caring is fundamental to nursing,1 ,2 yet over the past few years numerous examples of suboptimal basic care have emerged.3 ,4 This is before the move to a graduate entry profession. Indeed, my observations here in Canada, where nursing has been a degree entry profession for many years, suggest that concerns about the move to a graduate workforce are a red herring. The problems with nursing have evolved over a number of years and can be attributed to several factors some of which I will reflect on below. However, before doing so, it is worth noting that having a higher proportion of nurses with a degree on a …
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