A £500,000 grant from the Welsh Government will fund new facilities at Aberystwyth University for its nursing courses which start in September this year.
The announcement comes six months after the University’s plan to offer nursing qualifications for the first time received the green light from Health Education and Improvement Wales.
The money will be used to invest in facilities at the university’s new health education centre, located opposite Bronglais Hospital in Aberystwyth.
Plans include capital works and the purchase of equipment to create a suite of high-quality clinical practice rooms, part of the University’s £1.7million investment in the site .
The new center will include a clinical skills unit with high-fidelity simulation areas that reflect the patient journey from home and community services through assessment, planned and acute care.
Work on the facilities is due to be completed in March this year, in time for the first nursing students to start their studies in September.
Health Minister Eluned Morgan MS said:
“The people who work in the NHS are its lifeblood. Investing in training and the future workforce is a priority for us. I am delighted that our funding is helping to support a new phase for Aberystwyth University in nursing education.
“The new facility provides students with invaluable rural education and builds on the work of the Community and Rural Education Route (CARER) program, giving them experience working closely with clinicians and patients in community settings. .
“Over the last five years training places for nurses have increased by 72% in Wales and we are pleased to have retained the NHS Scholarship for Female Nursing Students to support people in a career in nursing. .
“I look forward to visiting the new center when it opens in the spring and meeting those who are starting the journey to become a nurse.
Professor Elizabeth Treasure, Vice-Chancellor of Aberystwyth University, added:
“During the pandemic, the work of our nurses and that of other NHS workers and caregivers has been nothing short of extraordinary. It is a great honor that we will be training nurses here in Aberystwyth for the first time in September.
“We are very grateful to the Welsh Government for this significant investment to support development. The funding will help ensure new students have access to the best resources and a high-quality education when they start in September.
“The healthcare training center will benefit the local recruitment and retention of nurses in Mid Wales and provide wider benefits to the region. It also has the potential to inspire new models of healthcare delivery. Supporting the needs of the community, in close collaboration with our partners, is at the heart of our civic mission; and the establishment of nursing education here is an important part of that. Our plans will also make an important contribution to improving mental health and Welsh language provision locally and beyond.
“Many thanks to everyone who has been involved in shaping our plans to provide nursing education here – including the Welsh Government, local health boards and Ceredigion County Council – without whom these exciting developments would not be possible.”
Proposals to establish nursing education have been developed by Aberystwyth University in cooperation with a number of partners, including the local health boards of Hywel Dda, Betsi Cadwaladr and Powys, as well as service users and caregivers.
The new courses will also offer students the opportunity to study up to half of their course in Welsh.
January 26 this year is the deadline to apply to study as part of the first cohort of nursing students at Aberystwyth University.