The Royal College of Nursing has welcomed the Government’s
plans to spend £168 million over the next three years on a package of golden
hellos and loyalty bonuses to attract staff.
Nurses coming back to the NHS will get a £1,000 grant to
help with their costs while they complete a 12-week refresher course.
Alan Milburn, the health secretary, also outlined that trainee
nurses will get a 10.4 per cent increase in bursaries, a sum that adds £500 a
year to the income of the average student on a diploma course.
The inducements are intended to help the NHS achieve its
targets of 20,000 more nurses by 2004.
RCN General Secretary,
Christine Hancock, said, “For many nurses, the only thing preventing
them returning to nursing has been the lack of financial support while they’re
on essential return to practice courses. Providing £1000 for each nurse will go
a long way towards addressing this.”