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Innovative new nursing degree programme set to train the lifesavers of tomorrow

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Published on 21 July 2020

New Blended Nursing programme
New Blended Nursing programme

Sunderland has become one of just seven universities in the UK to offer an innovative nursing degree programme to train the lifesavers of tomorrow.

During the past four months, University of Sunderland-trained nurses have played an important role in providing support on the NHS frontline during the height of Covid-19.

Now, Health Education England (HEE) has announced Sunderland as one of seven universities set to introduce a blended learning nursing degree programme.

As set out in the NHS Long Term Plan to help grow the nursing workforce in the UK, this innovative approach to learning maximises the opportunities to provide a fully interactive and innovative programme through a digital approach.

Sue Brent, Head of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences, said: “We are delighted to be one of the delivery partners of the new blended learning nursing degree programme.

“This flexible programme will give students access to learning while still making it easy to balance family or carer roles during their studies.

“Working with our NHS Trust partners the Sunderland programme will be delivered using the latest technologies available to ensure student’s meet the NMC standards to become a registered adult nurse.”

The innovative, accessible nursing degree programme will start from April/May 2021 and is designed to create a significantly different offer in nursing education that will establish a professional nurse workforce suited to the demands of care and service now and in the future.

The importance of the nursing profession has been highlighted in recent months and the University is continuing to play a leading role in providing the regional and UK workforce with the best trained nurses.

Simone Bedford, Team Leader for Post-Grad Nursing, said: “The funding from Health Education England will enable the team here to develop two innovative new programmes in adult nursing.  This will support the growth of registered nurses in the North East, Cumbria, North Yorkshire and London.”

Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock announced the seven delivery partners for the new degree. They are Open University & Middlesex University, Open University & University of West of England, Coventry University, University of Huddersfield, University of Sunderland, University of Gloucestershire and Birmingham City University.

Patrick Mitchell, Director of Innovation and Transformation for Health Education England, said: “This is a critical and ambitious programme of work, to support the introduction of blended learning degrees in healthcare. It shows the way to the future of educating and training our workforce, with the use of existing and emerging learning technologies.

“This approach has been accelerated by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, and it will really help to enable wider access to nursing degrees for people who may previously have had barriers to a nursing career.”

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