Last updated: 28.04.15

Staff shortages lead to nurses missing out on training

A new report has warned that nurses in the UK are missing out on important training opportunities and career development due to a shortage of staff and lack of funds.

The research, conducted on more than 14,000 nursing staff by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), found that 18 per cent of nurses weren't able to complete the necessary training last year, with almost half of these (44 per cent) saying this was because there wasn't enough staff to cover them.

What's more, one in ten nurses surveyed admitted to taking annual leave to complete compulsory training in their own time, while a further 34 per cent said they don't feel confident about the most up-to-date core training in the industry.

Peter Carter, chief executive and general secretary of the RCN, said: "It is absolutely critical that all nurses receive essential training each year to maintain standards of care for patients, and it is extremely worrying that almost one in five nurses has not been able to do this.

"Whoever forms the next government must ensure that access to training is a fundamental part of its offer to nursing staff who keep the NHS going day after day, year after year.

"The RCN is supportive of the principle of revalidation and recognises nurses' responsibility to keep up to date with nursing practice. However, employers must also pull their weight to ensure nurses have access to the training they need."

Mr Carter continued by stressing the importance of providing nurses with necessary training, highlighting that this would boost the skillset of the workplace and result in improved patient care.

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