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New Student Nurses Help Tackle Healthcare Crisis

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More than 220 new nursing students are beginning their studies in a bid to help patients in hospitals, GP surgeries and clinics across the region.

It is the largest intake of new nursing students at the University of Worcester in recent years, after the government, which limits the places universities can offer, restored a 17% cut in numbers, which it originally imposed in 2011.

The University admits two intakes of student nurses each year, in September and February. A total of 172 students began their studies in September 2016, and are now under taking their first placements, and a further 52 students will join the University on February 13th, which amounts to 178 new adult nurses, 12 new child nurses and 34 new mental health nurses to support the region’s healthcare services in the coming months and years.

Competition for these places are hard to come by with as many as 10 people competing for each place.

Eager to serve the communities in which most of them live, these new nursing students say they are ready for the challenges ahead.

Student Mike Havens said: “If it was not for nurses my Nan would have been alone and scared when she died. I would never want anyone else’s grandparent or parent to feel that way. So if I can be there for them when they need someone the most, then the best way I can be there for them is to be a nurse.”

Natalie Slater added: “I could not imagine myself doing anything else than being able to spend the rest of my working life helping people. To have the privilege of meeting so many amazing people and have a direct and positive impact on someone’s life, for me, it does not get better than that.”

The students will spend the next three years combining academic study in the classroom with practical skills training in the University’s state-of-the-art clinical skills rooms, and a minimum of 2,300 hours working at placements on hospitals wards, GP surgeries and community health clinics.

After passing all their practical and academic assignments, they will earn a prized place as a registered nurse with the Nursing & Midwifery Council and filling much-needed vacancies in the local health care system. The graduate employment rate for Worcester nurses is 100% and every Worcester nursing graduate has been snapped up for the last 10 years.

First year student Sophie Neeves said: “The use of clinical skills rooms are a great way to put theory into practice before going out onto placements. Worcester is continually expanding its facilities which is great for future students.”

Professor David Green, the University’s Vice Chancellor said: “Central to the current nationwide crisis in Accident and Emergency Departments is a lack of qualified nursing and medical staff. Working with our health partners, the University of Worcester produces some of the very best nurses in the country. We could educate many more if given the opportunity by the government and the placements by health care providers. Our nurse education is second to none. An investment today will provide the compassionate, professional care the people need tomorrow.”