​To Be a Doctor or Not to Be?


​To Be a Doctor or Not to Be?

There is no widespread desire among nurses to become doctors says RCN general secretary Janet Davies, following Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt’s proposal.

Mr Hunt wants to utilize the gap by asking whether there are experienced nurses who want to use their skills and experience to change careers to become a doctor.

In response to this, Ms Davies said “I'd just like to reassure you all, there is no wish from nurses to become doctors… Advanced nurse practitioners believe they are nurses with enhanced skills that provide a very different intervention… It doesn't mean doctors and nurses are interchangeable. It doesn't mean they want to be doctors. It is very different.”

However, the RCN leader proposed a way to help develop the career framework, that there may be possible opportunities where doctors and nurse can train together in primary care at postgraduate level and practices. This includes the new nursing apprenticeship programme which should allow for places based in primary care.

DR Michelle Drage, Londonwide LMC chief executive said “…the mistake is to replace GPs with a nurse. Nurses don't want to be GPs. It's a different specialism, and it connects perfectly with general practice…I don't think you can draw any conclusion, other than both parts of the professional system are under great strain.

Mr Hunt’s fast-track conversion course may not be a one size fits all approach for all. Some nurses may want to help the system but not at the expense of all their experience.

Kristen Smith at Nurseslabs.com wrote an article ‘4 reasons why nurses don’t want to be doctors’, where she shares reasons why nurses love their profession and wouldn’t trade it for a doctor’s salary.

From the lack of quality time with patients, to not being able to help treat the patients rather that source a diagnosis, to being the dreaded bearer of bad news.

She celebrates nurses for being ‘compassionate, brilliant, and extraordinary individuals who perform miracles under the supervision of the well-paid and over-stressed doctors’.

Should Nurses strive to take their careers to the next level?

Do you agree with Ms Davies or are you looking for a clear path to become a Doctor?

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