Petroc was delighted to welcome 30 healthcare support workers, who began a pioneering nursing associate course on Friday (January 27).
The demand for nursing excellence has never been higher. The new foundation degree programme for nursing associates will support the delivery of high quality nursing care and address the current sustainability issues within the NHS nursing workforce.
The 30 students are part of a cohort of 1,000 nursing associates starting their training this month. NHS Trusts and Higher Education providers across England were invited to apply to become a test site for the new role, and out of 48 applications only 11 – including Petroc – were successful.
Shaun Kershaw, Head of the Petroc Care Academy said: “The new foundation degree provides individuals already working in healthcare with an amazing opportunity to study locally and work towards a nursing career by supporting the existing workforce in providing high quality, compassionate care.
“It will undoubtedly greatly enhance the opportunities for the local healthcare support workforce to build rewarding and long-term careers in nursing – we are absolutely delighted with the news!”
Petroc is working in partnership with Plymouth University, Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust and The Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust to offer the programme.
“With this course we get paid on the job and get more experience,” said Lauren Payne, one of the new nursing associates. “It’s about stepping up more than anything.”
“We are all really excited,” added Harriet Clarke.
The new nursing associates will undertake a two-year programme with care assessments at its very heart. Placements will provide a scope of practice outside the traditional hospital environment and reinforce the need to provide integrated health and social care.
Once qualified the nursing associates will be able to offer a high quality of care and complement the work of the registered nursing workforce.
Throughout the two years of the test site, the nursing associate programme will be scrutinised by Health Education England. The development of the programme will also be linked to the new Nursing Apprenticeship, which is hoped to allow successful nursing associates a progression pathway to become fully qualified, registered nurses.
Petroc has been driving forward the way in which Further and Higher Education institutions work with NHS Trusts and has developed the Petroc Care Academy, which provides young people with career pathways into healthcare via placements, apprenticeships and higher education provision.
In 2015 Petroc was recognised by Health Education England and within Parliament as a model of good practice for the South West of England for its pioneering practice in healthcare career development. It works in close partnership with local NHS Trusts to help sustain the local workforce and the wider health economy.
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