New school of nursing and midwifery in Oxford
A new school of nursing and midwifery is being launched in response to ongoing changes across the professions.
The Oxford School of Nursing and Midwifery will be formally launched in June and will see students learning in university and trust environments, combining education, research and clinical practice.
The school is a partnership between Oxford Brookes University, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, under the umbrella of the Oxford Academic Health Science Centre (OAHSC).
It will be based on clinical and university sites in a campus-style model and has been developed in response to a ‘unique period of change in the professions of nursing and midwifery’, including changes to funding and bursaries, according to the university.
Oxford Brookes University department of nursing head Liz Wescott told Nursing Standard the school would not be going back to the old structure of nursing schools of the 1970s and 80s and the university would remain accredited by the Nursing and Midwifery Council.
‘It is building on a new landscape of joint education between universities and trusts and this will be enhanced by the Oxford Centre of Nursing and Midwifery and Allied Health Research, which is on site.
‘It will be an opportunity for collaborative working for the future design, planning and delivery of innovative new programmes.
‘We will also be working with trusts across the region to deliver continuing professional development, including postgraduate programmes, and this collaboration in Oxford will be enhanced in the future.’
She said the range of courses and degrees currently on offer at the university would continue.
Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust chief nurse Catherine Stoddart said in the long term the school could help to address some of the difficulties of recruiting and retaining the ‘high calibre of nursing and midwifery staff’ the trust employs.
RCN head of education Anne Corrin said the venture was an exciting way forward for nurse education. ‘Close collaboration between practice and education, and the possibility of increasing the integration of clinical training and research, is to be welcomed,’ she said.
‘Such an arrangement would make the possibility of clinical academic careers for nurses much more likely. This is exciting because such nurses are essential for the future leadership of nursing.’
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