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The University of Southampton
Health Sciences

Directive in Europe set to change the shape of nursing in the UK

Our Health Sciences EU representative, Dr Mary Gobbi, brings news from the UK EU Forum.

Dr Mary Gobbi

The proposed revisions to the European Commission Professional Qualifications Directive that regulates the education and training of health professionals will go to vote in the European Parliament on 6th October.  This is likely to affect all areas of healthcare but particularly medicine, general nursing and midwifery.

Midwives are likely to gain a minimum requirement of 12 years general education for admission to the profession with 4,600 hours of programme for recognition purposes, of which 50% will be in practice.

As nursing is subject to a two tier system some countries will elect to stay at 10 years while others, like the UK, will require 12 years general education.

These changes, if voted in, will change the shape of the nursing workforce in the UK. The main concern being that when recruiting EU nurses for academic courses or professional practice, those recruited from countries that continue with 10 year admission policies will, under the proposed revisions, not have recognisable higher education qualifications.  

Once the directive has gone through EU Parliament, I look forward to providing you with a further update on the detail contained in the revised Directive, and the potential impact this may have for both EU and UK healthcare.

About Dr Mary Gobbi

Mary is a well known European nurse education expert and researcher interested in improving patient outcomes and student/practitioner learning through competence based and student focussed health care education. View profile

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