James Parsons, director of Arrows Group, said: ‘This is a commendable move - the government says that these new rules aim to improve the standard of patient care, which of course is of utmost importance.
‘But it runs contra to the most pressing issue, which is nursing skills shortages across the NHS. By introducing these stricter requirements, the NHS may in fact find itself with lower standards of patient care, because it will struggle to find the talent it needs.
‘An increasingly high percentage of nurses working in the NHS are foreign nationals and raising the bar at entry point would have to be communicated clearly and rolled out internationally as the NHS is staffed by an international resource pool. There are critical staffing shortages across the NHS and the most pressing issue is looking at options that solve this rather than complicating it.'
Editors' blog: Will an all-degree nursing profession improve care?
Nurse blog: Nursing by degree