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Part-time nursing degree opportunities open up for healthcare support workers in Wales

Employers and Open University join forces in move that helps staff working in remote areas
woman sits on the sofa, working on her laptop

Employers and Open University join forces in move that helps staff working in remote areas

Healthcare support workers (HCSWs) who want to become nurses are to be offered help through a distance learning programme that will benefit those in remote areas.

HCSWs will now be able to enrol in a range of part-time distance learning nursing programmes with the Open University (OU).

Support from employers

All seven Welsh health boards have endorsed the programme. They have agreed to provide weekly study time, in line with flexible learning routes provided by universities in Wales and will receive funding for backfill.

This enables me to study, live in the area where Im from and continue working, doing the job Ive dreamed of since I left school

Rebecca Tandy, healthcare support worker

Stephen Griffiths of Health Education and

...

Employers and Open University join forces in move that helps staff working in remote areas


Picture: Alamy

Healthcare support workers (HCSWs) who want to become nurses are to be offered help through a distance learning programme that will benefit those in remote areas.

HCSWs will now be able to enrol in a range of part-time distance learning nursing programmes with the Open University (OU).

Support from employers

All seven Welsh health boards have endorsed the programme. They have agreed to provide weekly study time, in line with flexible learning routes provided by universities in Wales and will receive funding for backfill.

‘This enables me to study, live in the area where I’m from and continue working, doing the job I’ve dreamed of since I left school’

Rebecca Tandy, healthcare support worker


Stephen Griffiths of Health Education
and Improvement Wales.

Health Education and Improvement Wales director of nursing Stephen Griffiths said it was a ‘landmark moment’ for HCSWs in Wales.

‘Now more than ever, HCSWs from a diverse range of backgrounds across Wales will have the opportunity to study and achieve their full potential,’ he said.

‘Perhaps most importantly of all, the students themselves remain employed as healthcare support workers, meaning their employers continue to benefit from their knowledge, skills and experience.’

Working and studying

HCSW Rebecca Tandy, is in the first cohort of 25, a number that could rise to 40 for the next intake, with a view to further yearly growth.

Ms Tandy said that before the course she couldn’t afford to become a full-time nursing student.

‘This enables me to study, live in the area where I’m from and continue working at Bronglais Hospital, doing the job I’ve dreamed of doing ever since I left school,’ she said.

OU Wales director, Louise Casella, added: ‘More and more healthcare staff in Wales are taking up our new nursing degree.

‘For many in rural areas, this could be the only option they have to study for a degree and take their career in an exciting new direction.'


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