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Northumbria University team collecting their award at the Student Nursing Times ceremony
Northumbria University team collecting their award at the Student Nursing Times ceremony

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Northumbria University wins prestigious award for nursing apprenticeships

Northumbria University has been named the UK’s Nursing Apprenticeship Provider of the Year at Student Nursing Times Awards 2024.

The Student Nursing Times Awards recognise excellence in student nursing education and those providers that offer an enriched educational environment and outstanding support for students during their studies.

Northumbria was recognised for being the first university in the UK to deliver an 18- month registered nursing degree programme – which recently saw the 100th student graduate – for its significant investment into the programme and for its excellent partnerships with employers which create great opportunities for its students.

Northumbria specifically developed the course, which is approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council, to open nursing careers to more people and give individuals with previous clinical experience the opportunity to graduate as registered nurses within a compressed time frame.

Following a rigorous judging process with an independent panel, the judges commented on Northumbria University’s course saying: “This winner demonstrated how they put the apprentice at the heart of their provision. They offer an innovative and future focused curriculum and are research active, building a strong evidence base for the further development of nursing apprenticeships.”

The programme, which is successfully bringing more nurses to work on the NHS frontline, is delivered in partnership with NHS Trusts across the region including Newcastle, Northumbria, Gateshead and South Tees, as well as Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation and other primary care organisations.

Professor Alison Machin, Head of the Department of Nursing, Midwifery and Health at Northumbria University, said: “We’re thrilled to have won Nursing Apprenticeship Provider of the Year at the awards. The team at Northumbria has put a huge amount of work into the development and delivery of the course and it’s fantastic to see that recognised.

“The course was designed to provide an alternate pathway into nursing and make the career as accessible as possible to those who’ve worked in a clinical environment previously. We’ve now seen over 100 registered nurses graduate and enter the regional NHS workforce which is an absolutely fantastic achievement so it’s great to have that success recognised."

She added: “Workforce shortages is one the biggest challenges the sector faces at the moment and Northumbria University is dedicated to developing the healthcare workforce of the future and supporting the NHS to reach the targets outlined in the Long Term Workforce plan. Creating additional routes into the career will make a real difference and we’re delighted at the success we’ve seen so far.”

Dr Julie Derbyshire, Head of Apprenticeships and Assistant Professor in Nursing, added: “We arrived at the awards with no idea of who would win so we were all absolutely thrilled to get up on stage to receive the award on behalf of a much wider team.

“This award recognises the work that goes into making our 18-month programme so successful not only from a University perspective but also from the perspective of our employers who continue to support and invest in this programme and our apprentices whose hard work and dedication is a huge part of the course’s success.”

Over a three-year period 91% students on the registered nurse degree apprenticeship achieved a first-class degree and 100% of those who completed the course secured employment.

Northumbria’s Department of Nursing, Midwifery and Health was also recognised in the recent Times Higher Education Awards for its Outstanding Support for Students, thanks to the success of a specialist summer programme designed to support nursing students who had taken a break from their studies to complete their course.

Northumbria University delivers high quality learning and development opportunities through experiential teaching using simulation-based education and innovative virtual reality technology to enhance practical learning. Its BSc nursing programmes are ranked in the top 20 in the UK according to the Complete University Guide.

The University recently launched its Working Well in Healthcare event series with the first event focusing on the changes, challenges and opportunities across the sector for developing the workforce of the future. The event included keynote addresses from speakers including Professor Mark Radford CBE, Deputy Chief Nursing Officer for England, and Professor Laura Serrant OBE, Leadership, Development and Inclusive Practice Specialist.

Northumbria University is dedicated to reducing health and social inequalities, contributing to the regional and national workforce and improving social, economic and health outcomes for the most marginalised in society. Through its new Centre for Health and Social Equity, known as CHASE, researchers will be delivering world-leading health and social equity research and creating innovative, evidence-based policies and data-driven solutions to bring impactful change across the region, the UK and globally.

Click here for more information on higher and degree apprenticeships and CPD programmes in nursing at Northumbria University.

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UNIVERSITY OF THE YEAR 2022 (Times Higher Education Awards)

Northumbria is a research-intensive university that unlocks potential for all, changing lives regionally, nationally and internationally.

Two thirds of Northumbria's undergraduate students come from the North East region and go into employment in the region when they graduate, demonstrating Northumbria's significant contribution to social mobility and levelling up in the North East of England.

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