More than one in four student nurses drop out of courses

More than one in four nursing students in Scotland now drop out before completing their course, according to figures from the Information Services Division.

They show that in 2008, 28.2% of students dropped out compared with 26.4% in 2007.

RCN Scotland fears that without positive action the country could be heading towards a future nursing shortage.

Ellen Hudson, RCN Scotland’s associate director, learning and development, said: ‘Although the government and other key stakeholders are working on a number of initiatives to reduce the number of nurses who drop out of their courses, these figures released today show a worrying upward trend.

‘The government has set a target student attrition rate of 15% and we need to work together to achieve this.

‘RCN Scotland calls on the government to take the figures into account when taking any decisions on future student numbers. Only in this way can we ensure that Scotland has enough nurses in future to deliver high quality, patient-centred care.’

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