Nursing course takes on new batch of recruits

Nurses from North Tyneside who have taken part in the nursing course.
Nurses from North Tyneside who have taken part in the nursing course.

A nursing course launched last year has taken on its second group of student nurses.

The 18-month full-time work-based nursing degree was the first course of its kind when launched by Northumbria University, Newcastle and Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust in March 2016.

Aimed at people with a healthcare background, it leads to a BSc (Hons) Nursing Studies/Registered Nurse (Adult) degree.

Ten new student nurses will now carry out a mix of classroom-based teaching, simulated clinical skills and hands-on practical experience in hospitals and the community.

Professor Pam Dawson, Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor for Strategic Workforce Planning and Development at Northumbria University, said: “Due to success of the first course we are delighted to extend the programme to a further group of nursing students.

“The course with Northumbria Healthcare is a real trailblazer, with other NHS trusts and higher education institutions now following in our footsteps.”

Northumbria Healthcare has provided funding for the students and they are guaranteed an interview once they graduate.

Debbie Reape, interim executive director of nursing, said: “Our nurse training programme caused quite a stir in the nursing world when it was launched in March last year and we are delighted with how our recruits are progressing, thanks to their hard work and determination.”

“Like every trust in the country we continue to face recruitment challenges and we are passionate about building on our strong foundations of nurse training and playing our part in developing the workforce of the future.

“This latest intake of student nurses shows our continued support to nurse education and it is flattering to know that so many are now following our lead.”

Jacqui Barker, from Monkseaton, has two sons and worked for the trust for 15 years in various roles, including occupational therapy.

She said: “This is just an amazing opportunity. I always wanted to be a nurse but I also loved my job. For me it was about timing with juggling a family and finances. I am much more settled now.

“I didn’t think I would be successful but I love studying and you’re never too old. I feel incredibly grateful to be here and can’t wait to start my placements.”

Liam Darling-Cooper has a young son and lives in North Shields. He was worked in the NHS for 13 years in a range of roles, including as a health and fitness facilitator and in smoking and weight management.

He said: “I am thoroughly enjoying the course; all the studying can be a bit of a struggle as there is a lot to get through in 18 months but I love it. Having clinical experience and practical experience of working in the NHS has been a huge asset and meant we can hit the ground running. My wife is a nurse at Northumbria and thinks it’s fantastic. This is such a great opportunity as many people can’t afford to go back to study full time, it’s such a privilege.”

Sarah Lindman, from North Shields, worked in health and social care in nursing and residential homes after leaving school.

She joined Northumbria in 2002 as a healthcare assistant and worked in intensive care helping to set up a new rehabilitation service for patients.

She said: “I’ve wanted to be a nurse since I was a child but didn’t have the confidence until working on the new intensive care rehabilitation project.

“My mum had always wanted to be a midwife but didn’t get to pursue it so my parents are proud as punch. Now I’m doing this I don’t know why I didn’t do it sooner. I absolutely love it. I can’t thank the trust enough for this opportunity. They’ve played a huge part in my development and the support from the university is second to none.”

The ten student nurses on the first course are due to graduate this autumn.

The course has also been viewed positively by the NMC following a monitoring visit where it was highly commended in the verbal feedback.

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