Staff embark on innovative route to Registered Nursing
Four NNUH staff members have been awarded places on the BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing (Work Based Learning) course supported by the hospital Trust. The 2017 cohort will join five staff members now entering the second year of their programme having been awarded places on the innovative scheme last year.
Developed in partnership between the University of Suffolk, Health Education England, and local hospital Trusts; the Practice Development and Education Department at NNUH facilitate the programme, which offers the opportunity for current staff with a foundation degree to qualify as a Registered Nurse. The work-based learning course, which will take 18 months to complete, offers participants the chance to maintain their permanent contract of employment with the Trust whilst studying part-time.
Four individuals who have been awarded places for the 2017 cohort are currently working in a variety of roles at the Trust as either HCAs or Assistant Practitioners. Throughout the programme, students will continue to be paid their substantive salary, spending three days a week in their normal roles and a further two days as student nurses on placements across the hospital and community. The group will also be required to attend 12 formal teaching and assessment sessions at university over the course of their degree.
April Yallop started work at the hospital when she was just 17 and has worked as an HCA on a vascular ward at NNUH for the past eight years.
“My team have been so supportive in preparing me for the course,” said April. “As part of our application we had to submit a portfolio which included evidence of previous practice hours worked. I had help from almost everyone in my team to compile this, from the sister on my ward to my HCA colleagues.”
April will start her first placement on a surgical ward later this month.
She said: “It’s both terrifying and exciting. I can’t wait to become a nurse; it’s been an amazing journey so far which has given me so much self-belief and drives me forward.”
In 2016, five members of staff from NNUH made successful applications to the programme and this group are now one year through the programme.
Mary Copsey was working as an Assistant Practitioner in the Oncology outpatients department when she applied for a place on the course. She has since completed placements on a respiratory ward, a surgical ward where she had the opportunity to observe a major operation and a community placement in North Norfolk. She will be starting her next placement in Critical Care at NNUH this month.
“Studying for the degree in Adult Nursing has gone quickly so far,” said Mary. “I’ve really enjoyed the placements but it’s been a challenge to balance the coursework requirements alongside my normal role.”
When asked what advice she would give to this year’s cohort of students, Mary added: “It’s all about good time management and learning as much as you can from all the people you meet.”
Paula Balls, NNUH Trust Education Lead said: “This programme provides us with a great opportunity to invest in our own staff, helping us to boost our workforce of the future. For many of our staff, becoming a Registered Nurse has always been their dream, but life’s necessities can sometimes prevent this being a realistic option. We’re looking forward to supporting this year’s students and I’d like to thank the teams across the hospital who make the programme possible.”
Emma McKay, Director of Nursing at NNUH said: “To be able to develop our own nurses and support them through their training journey in this way is really exciting. As a trust we’re committed to creating an environment where all our staff can fulfil their potential and I would like to wish both groups the very best of luck with their future careers in Nursing.”
NNUH staff group studying for the BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing (Work Based Learning). Mary Copsey, second from left and April Yallop, third from right.