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Tuesday, 8 August, 2000, 23:48 GMT 00:48 UK
Nursing advert 'misleading'
The advert claimed new recruits earned at least 20,000 a year
A government advert which tempted new recruits to nursing with the promise of a 20,000 salary has been criticised by the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA).

The ruling follows similar condemnation, by the Independent Television Commission (ITC), of a sister television campaign.

The advert, which ran in national newspapers and magazines, was the centrepiece of a government initiative to attract new blood into a profession suffering from a serious shortage of personnel.

Most nurses rely on payments for working nights and weekends to make up their salary and many are struggling to make ends meet

Royal College of Nursing spokeswoman

The adverts featured the claim that the average full time qualified nurse now earns over 20,000 a year.

However, nurses complained that they only earned that when additional allowances such as overtime, night duty work and a London weighting were added to their salaries.

In its ruling, the ASA said: "Because the figure was not the basic wage but was the average gross earnings including allowances, the Authority concluded that the claim was misleading."

Twelve people across the UK had complained about the ad, which has now been amended.

Nurses complained

A spokeswoman for the Royal College of Nursing said: "Many nurses felt this advertisement was misleading and did not accurately reflect their own experiences.

"Most nurses rely on payments for working nights and weekends to make up their salary and many are struggling to make ends meet.

"No nurse enters the profession to get rich - but they do want to be paid properly for the work they do."

She added: "It is a shame that this complaint has detracted from the core message of the recruitment campaign - that nursing is a challenging and rewarding career."

A spokeswoman for the Department of Health said the original claim had been based on their annual earnings survey.

She said: "Both the ITC and the ASA have accepted that the department's original statement was based on its annual earnings survey and are happy with the revised wording."

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03 May 00 | Health
Nurse pay ad 'misleading'
17 Jan 00 | Health
Nurses welcome pay boost
28 Feb 00 | Health
'Record rise' in nurse numbers
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