The University of Gloucestershire has been given the green light to offer a new nursing degree from September 2017, after the course was approved, subject to conditions, by the Nursing and Midwifery Council.
This new course aims to tackle nursing shortages both locally and nationally by offering a three-year undergraduate degree with hands-on experience at every stage of a student’s development. It is led by the University in partnership with Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust and the NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group.
Teaching will primarily take place at the University’s Oxstalls campus in Gloucester. During the course of their degree, students will also gain first-hand experience at acute and mental health facilities in partnership with the local Trusts across the county.
Dr Joy Darch, Academic Subject Lead for Nursing at the University, said: “Our programme will empower graduate nurses of the future to lead a culture of care that puts patients at the heart of everything they do. This is an important time for nursing, and we have had a fabulous opportunity in Gloucestershire to create the curriculum in partnership with patients and providers to prepare nurses with the skills and knowledge needed for a modern day health and care service in a wide range of settings.”
Health Education England (HEE), the body that coordinates the country’s medical training, announced last month that the University of Gloucestershire has been approved as a test site for the new ‘Nursing Associate’ role. That is a new healthcare position sitting alongside existing nursing care support workers and fully-qualified registered nurses to deliver hands-on care for patients.
Executive Nurse at NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, Marion Andrews-Evans said: “It’s vital for the county’s future that together we develop a sustainable nursing workforce. This is really good news for those people keen on pursuing a career in nursing with the right training, education and learning support. It’s also really good news for patients. There is a real sense that community partners are all pulling together in the same direction to ensure that Gloucestershire develops its reputation as a centre of excellence for nursing. We would like to congratulate the University for helping to make this a reality.”
Gloucester MP Richard Graham said: “Health is the biggest employer in Gloucestershire, so the increasing focus by our University on providing the skills for my constituents and others in the county to have lifetime careers in health is absolutely right.
“I hope both parents and students will see the huge practical advantage of being able to study for nursing degrees and higher apprenticeships so close to home, and without any limits on numbers now.”