University of Worcester Student Nurses Head Back to the Frontline

Nursing (2) - web

Third year students, coming towards the end of their degrees, are to be employed by partner Trusts to work in hospitals and community care settings.

In the first lockdown, around 450 University of Worcester students put themselves forward to work on the frontline, including those studying to be nurses, midwives, paramedics and physiotherapists.

This latest call from the Secretary of State for students to be deployed into paid placements only applies to those studying nursing. So far 74 of Worcester’s student nurses have put themselves forward and will begin taking up paid placements on the frontline in the coming days and weeks.

Robert Dudley, Head of the University of Worcester’s Three Counties School of Nursing and Midwifery, said: “Our third-year nursing students are once again being called upon to support frontline staff in what are very challenging times for the NHS. In the first lockdown, more than 200 Nursing students put themselves forward, and did an outstanding job. Many of those moved into accommodation at the University so that they would not ‘bring the virus home’ to the rest of the family.”

He added: “Completing their academic studies over the last year has been immensely challenging, however all of our healthcare students have shown great resilience and determination. They are a credit to the University, the discipline of nursing and the profession.

“Whether on a paid placement or not, these senior, highly experienced students will support the registered nurse workforce in caring for patients within all of our partner NHS Trusts.”

Last summer, the University of Worcester received the largest allocation of additional health training places in the Country, when the Government released more than 5,500 places for courses at universities in England to support the NHS.

Worcester’s allocation included 240 additional Nurse training places, across its Adult (200), Child (20) and Mental Health (20) pathways, almost doubling the University’s yearly intake of students to these courses.

The University of Worcester is one of the best educators of nurses and midwives in the UK. Worcester is currently number 1 out of 75 institutions for student satisfaction in Midwifery, as well as being the most shortlisted of all UK universities in last year’s annual Student Nursing Times Awards, which are widely regarded as the OSCARS of nursing education. Amongst the 8 accolades were Pre-registration Nurse Education Provider of the Year, for which Worcester was shortlisted for the 6th time an all-UK record.

Through most of the last decade, Worcester ran a nationally noted campaign seeking to increase or at the very least maintain training places for student nurses, recognising the needs of the people and the nation. From 2011 to 2018 the University campaigned to reverse the government decision to cut student numbers nationally – including a 17% cut in the West Midlands – which resulted in a severe nursing shortage by the time the pandemic struck with a shortage of at least 5,000 in the region. During this time the University was told by Ministers and senior government workforce planners that more student nurses would mean unemployed nurses. Life has proved them utterly wrong.

The University is currently working hard to create a new campus for health and wellbeing and a new medical school to serve the people of our region and beyond.