He chose this profession “for the adrenaline”, he says, and also for this fight, “to save lives”.
A first-year student at the Nursing Training Institute, attached to the Louis-Mourier hospital in Colombes (Hauts-de-Seine), Alexandre, 20, walks in the footsteps of his nursing mother, who repeats to him as a mantra: "We are like soldiers who go into battle every morning".
This training was his one and only wish last year on Parcoursup, the web platform dedicated to the guidance of high school students towards higher education.
If the final year students have until Thursday, April 8, at 11:59 p.m. to confirm their wishes and put together their file, as in 2020, nearly 10% of French high school students have already made this choice this year, applying for one or more IFSI (French institute in nursing care) throughout France.
This is the third consecutive year that this training is the most requested.
Should we see an effect of the Covid-19 health crisis, these spring 2020 evenings spent applauding caregivers at the windows and balconies of France?
For Alexandre, there is no doubt: "I am one of those for whom the Covid-19 has strengthened the choice of life", he assures.
For the directors of IFSI, it is more uncertain.
“By promotion, we may come across one or two students who have been attracted by the recognition expressed in recent months, but it is not the majority!
»Relativizes Florence Girard, director of IFSI in Ussel (Corrèze) and president of the National Association of Paramedical School Directors.
The phenomenon can nevertheless be surprising.
Lack of staff, resources, overcrowded hospitals, overwhelmed, poorly paid, harassed caregivers: the ills of the French medical world are known but, for three years, vocations have been flowing.
The schools, for their part, will welcome 4,000 more students at the national level at the start of the next school year, after 2000 last year thanks to the measures taken during the Ségur de la santé.
"A profession where we know we will be useful"
“Before 2019, the entrance exam tended to discourage some young people and their families.
To apply, you had to incur costs, travel from school to school.
Some, moreover, were not filling up, especially in Ile-de-France and in the Grand-Est ”, we inform the Ministry of Higher Education.
Then the competition was canceled, Parcoursup was born and the tidal wave arrived.
From now on, the schools are accessible directly after the bac and the students are selected according to their grades, the appreciations of their teachers, as well as their motivation.
This fact has awakened many vocations.
“The IFSI have the advantage, in just three years, of delivering a state diploma and training for a profession where young people are sure to work later, because there are needs.
This is not the case for all training courses, ”emphasizes Florence Girard, who easily fills her school each year, located in a small town of 10,000 inhabitants, a sub-prefecture of Corrèze.
“This training is successful first of all because it has outlets.
Opportunities are no small thing in an increasingly complicated world of work!
Replies Thomas Hostettler, spokesperson for the FNESI (National Federation of Nursing Students).
In addition, the training is a little theoretical, but above all practical.
Very quickly, the young person must begin his internships, to which he will devote half of his three years of studies.
“We quickly get our hands dirty.
It's a super-concrete job, you never get bored.
It's also a profession where you know you will be useful, ”says Alexandre.
Dropouts during training
At Cidj (Youth Information and Documentation Center), they are legion, these high school students eager for information and advice.
"The young people arrive, tell me that they want to do this job to help others, they are motivated by the social impact, the usefulness", adds Amadou Baye, guidance counselor.
Still, some people are also very quickly disillusioned.
According to the FNESI, 25% of students drop out between the first year and the diploma, ie after three years.
“For some, it's the first internship that's hard.
They realize, for example, that they cannot stand the sight of blood, ”says Amadou Baye.
“There is mistreatment of nursing students, who find themselves in contact with exhausted professionals who sometimes bully them at the slightest mistake.
It's a demanding world, ”reports Thomas Hostettler, FNESI spokesperson.
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More worrying, according to Cidj, many young nurses, holders of their diploma, exercise a few years before wanting to retrain. “For some, the practice of the profession is different from the fantasized vision they had of it. In this business and particularly in recent months, during the Covid crisis, there have been disappointments, ”says Amadou Baye. According to a study published this Wednesday April 7 by the Hospital Federation of France, 10,000 nurses and nursing assistants would have stopped their profession last year.