A new nursing course has been launched to help the chronic shortage of nurses in east London’s hospitals.
Last year, a report by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) revealed that there were more than 1,044 vacant nursing posts at the Barts Health NHS Trust, which includes Mile End, Whipps Cross, Newham University and Royal London hospitals, and 333 at the Barking, Havering and Redbridge NHS Trust.
It is hoped that a new three-year adult nursing degree at the University of East London will help local people to take up these jobs.
Charmagne Barnes, Dean of UEL’s School of Health, Sport and Bioscience, said the programme would be important not just to the university but to the community of east London as a whole.
Ms Barnes, herself a qualified nurse, said that the area was not just short of nurses, but deprived of the opportunity for people to train to become nurses: At present there is no local provision for pre-registration nursing within east London.
The new BSc (Hons) Nursing (Adult) course will be run in partnership with the Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals, and North East London Foundation NHS Trusts, and should change that when it begins in January 2018.
It will be 50 per cent theory and 50 per cent learning alongside qualified nurses in local hospitals, giving students the chance to get practical experience of the job before they graduate.
The degree has been given the stamp of approval by the Nursing and Midwifery Council, which regulates the nursing and midwifery professions and sets standards for training,
Ms Barnes said the NMC were really impressed that that the course was led by partners at local hospitals.
The Dean said that she was absolutely delighted to win the hugely successful approval, which should have far-reaching benefits for the area: It is anticipated that by recruiting onto the course from the local community, the future workforce will be supplied by locally educated nurses who will stay in the area and contribute to the health economy.
The university is now accepting applications for the January 2018 intake.