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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 unit …
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