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Fast-track nursing degree programme open to applicants

Fast-track nursing degree course in north east England will take on new students in March.
students and programme staff

A fast-track nursing degree course in north east England will take on students in March in a bid to address the national nurse shortage.

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Northumbria University are offering a joint programme, approved by the Nursing and Midwfery Council, leading to an honours degree in nursing.

The self-funded full-time course runs for 18 months half the length of a traditional nursing degree and will cost successful applicants 13,500. Applicants might be eligible to receive an individual trust scholarship of up to 5,000.

The course is open to those with substantial healthcare experience and a foundation degree or equivalent study in nursing and healthcare. After completion, students will be able to apply for a job with the trust.

Recruitment problems

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust interim

A fast-track nursing degree course in north east England will take on students in March in a bid to address the national nurse shortage.


The ten students of the original fast-track degree cohort 

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Northumbria University are offering a joint programme, approved by the Nursing and Midwfery Council, leading to an honours degree in nursing.

The self-funded full-time course runs for 18 months – half the length of a traditional nursing degree – and will cost successful applicants £13,500. Applicants might be eligible to receive an individual trust scholarship of up to £5,000.

The course is open to those with substantial healthcare experience and a foundation degree or equivalent study in nursing and healthcare. After completion, students will be able to apply for a job with the trust.

Recruitment problems

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust interim executive director of nursing Debbie Reape said the course’s first cohort began in March 2016 and was a success.

A total of 10 trust staff, who had worked in nursing assistant roles or similar, took the programme, which has now opened to the public. 

Ms Reape said: ‘We are pleased to be able to cast the net wider and open this unique programme to people across the region as an alternative to the traditional three-year degree.

‘Like every trust in the country we’re facing real recruitment issues and are passionate about building on our strong foundations of nurse training and playing our part in developing the workforce of the future.’

Keen to start working

Nursing student Rachel Heron (pictured back row, right) joined the programme last year. She had worked in Northumbria’s sexual health service for almost six years and has a psychology degree.

Ms Heron said: ‘I am looking forward to pursuing my nursing career when I finish. So far the course has been great. I have particularly enjoyed my placements, which have been in acute elderly medicine, community nursing and emergency care. 

‘While on placement, the support has been excellent and I have had fantastic mentors and practice placement educators.’

Northumbria University associate pro vice-chancellor for health workforce planning Pam Dawson said: ‘Northumbria University has a long-standing reputation for nurse education and training and this programme uses a new approach of workplace-based coaching to support student nurses’ teaching and learning, keeping quality of patient care at the forefront.’

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