The government is creating over 140 nurse consultant posts as part of a bid to boost the career prospects for nurses.
The news followed the announcement of pay rises of up to 7.8 per cent for nurses and 3.3 per cent for doctors.Health Secretary Alan Milburn said the new posts would help remove the glass ceiling on nursing careers and improve patient care.
“For the first time nurses can stay on the wards and in the community looking after patients and yet still progress in their career,” he said.
The 141 new posts were selected from submissions from NHS Trusts and Primary Care Groups and cover a wide range of services from mental health, midwifery and cancer care to diabetes and children’s care. Nurse consultants will spend a minimum of 50 per cent of their time working with patients, with the remainder devoted to professional practice development, research and training work. Salaries will range from £27,460 to over £42,000.
A new recruitment advertising campaign for nurses launched on television earlier this month. The government claims that since the start of its original campaign, almost 2,600 nurses and midwives have returned to NHS employment, with a further 2,500 in training. There has been a 24 per cent increase in students taking up nursing degree courses this year.