“Golden Hello” For Postgraduate Student Nurses
The government has recently announced that they will be rolling out a new scheme to attract postgraduate students to nursing disciplines that are currently under-staffed in the UK. Postgraduate students who train as district nurses will be offered ‘golden hellos’ worth £10,000 to drive recruitment in departments that are currently under huge pressure due to lack of professionals and resources.
Why is the ‘Golden Hello’ scheme important?
As Nursing in Practice reports, these incentives were announced following a controversial announcement that postgraduate nursing bursaries will be revoked at the end of the year. The changes, which were announced earlier in 2018, were widely criticised, particularly by the Royal College of nursing and Shadow Education Secretary.
According to numerous sources, the removal of the undergraduate nurse training bursary caused a 15,000 drop in nursing applications: from 47,000 in 2016 to 31,000 in 2018. This is the biggest decline in applications on record.
How will the ‘Golden Hello’ work?
Aiming to prevent a similar impact in postgraduate nursing students, the ‘golden hello’ scheme is part of a £10 million plan to increase the quantity of nursing professionals in areas including mental health, learning disabilities support and cancer care.
The funding totals around £900,000 and will be allocated to geographical locations in need of extra support and staffing, such as Cornwall, where there is currently a shortage in speech and language therapists.
Speaking to the National Health Executive, Chief Executive and General Secretary of the RCN, Janet Davies, praised the plan, but said more needs to be done:
“This appears to be a welcome concession from the government that more needs to be done to convince graduates of other subjects to study nursing. But better still would be to drop its plans to remove full support from these students.”
The RCN intends to keep campaigning for further financial support for postgraduate nurses, advocating for minimum offers of grants and other incentives for undergraduate trainees.
‘Golden hello’ to boost nurses’ careers
There are many ways in which the new ‘Golden hello’ scheme will be of benefit to registered nurses and new nursing postgraduates alike. For those who are considering getting into nursing from different disciplines, studying a postgraduate degree in nursing is one of the quickest ways into the field. This is positive both for the student and for healthcare teams, who are in need of highly-trained professionals.
The scheme also opens up a new raft of opportunity for already-registered nurses in practice who wish to progress their careers through further study. For, say, an adult nurse, the best way into a more specialised field such as mental health care is to undergo postgraduate study. However, the average NHS nurse’s wage would not easily cover the costs of tuition, so the new scheme will allow nurses to take time away from work to study.
Specialising through postgraduate study opens up countless new opportunities for desirable nursing jobs. Not only are salaries often higher in these specialised fields, the unique skills these nurses have make them competitive candidates for more flexible roles such as out-of-hours work. This can mean a career made to fit around your lifestyle and personal commitments, maintaining a rewarding yet dynamic day-to-day work life without the pressures of general nursing.
To find out more about how you could make the most of the ‘golden hello’ scheme and progress your nursing career, contact us today on 03000 243 333.