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January 2018

First accelerated nursing degree students graduate

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. 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 ten 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.

At the end of the course, which has been commended by the NMC, the students are qualified to work in hospitals or in the community – a key part of work led by Northumbria Healthcare to develop new models of care in Northumberland as a national vanguard site as chosen by NHS England.