Degree courses for all new nurses

From next year all courses in nursing at the University of East Anglia will be to degree level.

The move is in response to government plans for all new nurses to study degrees from 2013.

However, the UEA's School of Nursing and Midwifery is one of the few across the country which will be phasing out its diplomas from next September.

Professor Val Lattimer, head of the School of Nursing and Midwifery, believes the new degrees will help nurses to adapt to the way the NHS is likely to change in the coming years, with more care being carried out in the community and increased responsibilities, such as writing prescriptions.

Prof Lattimer said: 'This will help nurses to be more confident in their practice earlier on and it really is about investing in your career earlier.

'From a patient's point of view, graduate nurses will be good at communicating and very good at advocating for patients' needs and families needs in an interdisciplinary context.'

Each year the university takes on 200 new student nurses, many of whom will stay and work in the region.

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Currently about half of those opt for a three-year degree, while the other half study a three-year diploma, although some of these will convert to a degree mid-course.

When the announcement was made about all new nurses taking degrees, national newspapers reported concerns that graduates could be less willing to do menial tasks such as cleaning and helping frail patients eat their meals.

But for mature student Sally Wade, from Sprowston, it is the chance to be more hands on which most appeals about her degree in nursing in adult health.

The mum-of-two decided to do the course at the age of 41, having worked as a medical secretary and as a secretary to an ear, nose and throat consultant at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

She said: 'I didn't come here to learn how to do this to end up processing forms - I did that before and I want to be hands on with patients and have more one-to-one contact and care.' The university holds taster days called 'So you want to be a nurse?'. The next of these will be held on March 30, 2011.

To apply online, visit For more information about studying nursing at UEA, contact Matthew Gooch on 01603 597120, by email at or visit