Home News University of Chichester launches new Nursing Associate Higher Apprenticeship course

University of Chichester launches new Nursing Associate Higher Apprenticeship course

Nursing students in the immersive simulation room working with a responsive robot

The University of Chichester’s new School of Nursing and Allied Health recently celebrated International Nurses Day (12 May) with the launch of a new Nursing Associate Higher Apprenticeship course and the publication of a book which supports it.

The state-of-the-art facility at the University of Chichester is training future healthcare professionals at a time of unprecedented need with high vacancy rates across health and social care. England has its highest number and proportion of nurses leaving the National Health Service (NHS) ever recorded. The Nuffield Trust (2022) and the Kings Fund (2022) identify that, based on current trends, in 10 years’ time the NHS will have a shortfall of 108,000 full-time equivalent nurses. Half this gap could be bridged by increasing the number of nurses joining the NHS from their pre-registration courses.

Nursing Associates work with people of all ages in a variety of settings in health and social care. They are registered with the Nursing Midwifery Council and are members of the nursing teams which bridge the gap between health and care assistants and registered nurses.

Former nurse and now academic Dr Nita Muir, who leads the school, said: “By offering this new apprenticeship we are supporting local employers to develop and retain their own talented employees, and for learners to earn as they learn. We welcome Apprentice Nursing Associates to our nursing family and to the University, they make an enormous difference’.

The School is situated next to St Richard’s Hospital and is located on the University’s Chichester campus. It received official accreditation from the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) last year to deliver this new apprenticeship.

The 3,200 -square foot headquarter is fitted with ultra-modern clinical equipment within clinical mock spaces and with immersive learning equipment to provide students with real-life simulation learning experiences. It was launched following a £2.5 million investment from the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership, alongside other government bodies, as part of plans to strengthen the region’s health and social care workforce.

Assistant Director Sam Donohue from the national regulatory body Nursing Midwifery Council is an advocate of Nursing Associates and visited the School as part of the celebrations on 12 May. Programme leader Charlie Craig also launched her book ‘The Clinical Pocket Reference Book for Nursing Associates’ on the day, which contains the essential knowledge NAs or those in training will need to deliver safe, confident and person-centred care.

The University is hosting an employers event in July to meet and encourage local health and social employers to consider developing their staff into this exciting new role.

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