First batch of new student nurses qualify

Newly qualified nursing graduates.
Newly qualified nursing graduates.

The first students to study on a new 18-month full-time work-based nursing degree have graduated with flying colours.

Traditionally a three-year qualification, the 18-month nursing course is aimed at people with a healthcare background.

The first of its kind in the UK, the programme leads to a BSc (Hons) Nursing Studies/Registered Nurse (Adult) degree and is a partnership between Northumbria University, Newcastle, and Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

The course involves a mix of classroom-based teaching, simulated clinical skills and hands-on practical experience in hospitals and the community across Northumberland and North Tyneside and, on completion, the students were guaranteed employment at Northumbria Healthcare.

The first 10 recruits – made up of Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust staff – began the programme in March 2016.

The opportunity, funded by the trust, was so popular that it received almost six times the number of applications than there were places for, and a second course, with a further 10 recruits began in March 2017.

Daniel Kane, from Newcastle, now works as a staff nurse on a respiratory medicine ward at North Tyneside Hospital.

He said: “It’s momentous really to have had the opportunity to do this course. There’s been a lot of support during the degree, both from the University and the trust. I would definitely advocate this qualification to others going forward.”

Following the success of the 18-month degree programme, the course is now being replicated in other areas of the country.

Professor Alison Machin, acting head of the nursing, midwifery and health department in Northumbria University’s Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, said: “I’d like to congratulate all the student nurses on their graduation and wish them an exciting and rewarding career in nursing.

The course has also been viewed positively by the Nursing and Midwifery Council.