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North East showcases pioneering course at national nursing conference

22nd February 2017

A unique approach to nurse training is being showcased at a major conference this week.

The programme, the first of its kind in the UK, was developed by Northumbria University and Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and gives those with substantial healthcare experience and academic study in the nursing and healthcare sector the opportunity to become nurses in 18 months as opposed to three years.

The programme, the first of its kind in the UK, was developed by Northumbria University and Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and gives those with substantial healthcare experience and accredited academic study in the nursing and healthcare sector the opportunity to become registered adult nurses in 18 months as opposed to three years.

Dr Alison Machin, Associate Professor of Nursing, Midwifery and Health at Northumbria University and Cath O’Kane, General Manager of the Nurse Education Programme at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust will discuss their partnership and the innovative course at an ‘Inside Government Conference’ in London on Thursday 23 February. Attended by key Government and NHS representatives from across the UK, the conference is focused on raising the quality of nursing provision.

The new full-time work-based course nursing programme leads to a BSc (Hons) Nursing Studies/Registered Nurse (Adult) degree which is recognised by professional regulatory body the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). It is a mix of classroom-based teaching simulated clinical skills, hands-on practical experience and group coaching in hospitals and the community across Northumberland and North Tyneside.

The first course started in March 2016 with 10 trust staff who had previously worked in nursing assistant roles or similar taking their first steps to becoming nurses and has been expanded this year to 20 places with 10 trust places and a further 10 open to the public with the guarantee of an interview on graduation with the trust.

Given the recruitment challenges facing the whole of the NHS, the trust has invested around £1million in the programme in a bid to help ease workforce pressures in the future.

Dr Alison Machin at Northumbria University said: “We are delighted to present to this prestigious conference. Through our close partnership with Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust we have developed a course which is a real trail blazer and has recently received very positive feedback from the Nursing and Midwifery Council in a recent monitoring visit.

“Northumbria University has an excellent reputation for delivering academic excellence in nurse education and training, and this programme is a great example of that, using a new approach of workplace-based coaching to support student nurses’ teaching and learning, keeping quality of patient care at the forefront.”

Cath O’Kane at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust said: “Our 18-month nurse training programme attracted much attention 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 and our excellent partnership with Northumbria University. Alongside the feedback from the Nursing and Midwifery Council, we’ve also received extremely positive comments from the students about the course and the support we provide.

“As an ‘outstanding’ NHS trust we are delighted to be able to share our best practice on a national stage with colleagues across the NHS. Together with the University we are always looking at innovative ways of delivering nursing training and high quality nurses to help address the recruitment challenges we all face and help us to continue to provide the very best care to our patients.
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