The course, the first of its kind in the UK, is aimed at people with a background in healthcare.
A partnership between the University of Northumbria and Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, the program leads to a BSc (Hons) Nursing Studies / Registered Nurse (Adult) degree.
The course includes a blend of classroom instruction, simulated clinical skills and hands-on experience in hospitals and community in Northumberland and North Tyneside and upon completion, students were guaranteed employment with Northumbria Healthcare.
The first 10 recruits – comprised of staff from the Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust – started the program in March 2016.
Funded by the trust, it was so popular that it received nearly six times as many applications as there were places, and a second course, with 10 more recruits, began in March 2017.
Katy Crinson is one of the newly graduated nurses who participated in the new curriculum. She is now a staff nurse in the intensive care unit at Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital in Cramlington, where she was originally a nursing assistant.
She said: âI am absolutely delighted to have graduated from what has been a great course. Although it was quite intense, having had a health care experience has already served me well and the support I received from college and the confidence I received has been second to none.
âI am absolutely delighted to have achieved my ambition and to start my nursing career. It has been a great honor to be part of an innovative approach to nursing education and it’s great to see the North East leading the way.
Following the success of the 18-month study program, the course is now being replicated in other parts of the country.
Professor Alison Machin, Acting Head of the Department of Nursing, Midwifery and Health in the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences at Northumbria University, said: âI would like to congratulate all of the nursing students for their graduation and wishing them an exciting and rewarding career in nursing.
âNorthumbria has a long standing reputation for providing innovative, high quality education and training for nurses.
âThis program uses a new approach to workplace coaching to support the teaching and learning of nursing students, keeping the quality of patient care at the forefront.