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Student Nurses

Volume 83: debated on Friday 19 July 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what has been the drop-out rate for student nurses during each of the last five years; and what is being done to encourage and enable more student nurses to complete their courses.

The number of trainee nurses discontinuing training in each of the past five years and their proportion to the average number in training during the year is given in the table:

England and Wales
Year ending 31 MarchNumbers discontinuing training*Percentage
* Total numbers of student and pupil nurses at the various stages of training discontinuing in the year. The figures are not strictly comparable due to a change in the method of collection and processing in 1983.
The overall reduction in the drop-out rate between 1980 and 1984 is thought to be due to a number of factors including the greater selectivity for entry to nurse training schools and our national publicity campaign whose prime object is to educate the public about the true nature of the nurse's role.The statutory bodies responsible for nurse training are currently considering the future pattern of training. The English National Board has already published proposals for consultation. Improved training arrangements should help to reduce wastage rates.We recently accepted the recommendation of the Review Body that the pay of recently qualified staff nurses should be specially enhanced. This should further encourage student nurses to complete their training and continue in National Health Service employment.