Working with seven universities and advisory partner-organisations, Health Education England has developed the programme which opens up the profession to a much wider group of people who have the skills and aptitude to nurse, but whose current situation doesn’t allow them to study in the traditional way. This may be due to caring commitments, physical access or other barriers to study that a blended approach will support.
This is significantly different offer in nursing education that will support the growth a digitally-expert and professional nurse workforce suited to the demands of care and service now and in the future.
It will give trainee nurses easy access to new and emerging technologies and will help them and their employing trusts meet the requirement for strong digital capabilities. It will also give the NHS access to a twenty-first century workforce that is agile and enthusiastic about change.
This ambitious programme will:
- Fully exploit digital technologies to deliver fully interactive and integrated programmes including immersive technologies like Virtual and Augmented Reality
- Provide a technology framework that enables student-led provision, online communities of practice leading to development of engaged and self -directed learners with strong digital capabilities
- Develop flexible, adaptable, resilient, curious, collaborative learners and professionals
- Attract greater numbers and a more diverse student population into the health profession
- Create a significantly different offer in healthcare professional education, that will support the growth of a qualitatively different, expert and professional workforce suited to the demands of care now and in the future
This innovative approach is designed to help grow the nursing workforce, as set out in NHS Long Term Plan, and the first students can begin to apply from September 2020 with courses starting January – March 2021.
The seven delivery partners for the new degree are:
- Birmingham City University
- Coventry University
- University of Gloucestershire
- University of Huddersfield
- University of Sunderland
- Open University and Middlesex University
- Open University and University of West of England
Patrick Mitchell, Director of Innovation and Transformation for Health Education England, said;
“This is a critical and ambitious programme of work, to support the introduction of blended learning degrees in healthcare. It shows the way to the future of educating and training our workforce, with the use of existing and emerging learning technologies.
“It signifies how HEE is working in partnership with HEIs, to establish a radical shift in nurse education in England. We were impressed by the innovation that our chosen universities had put into their plans, especially around looking for new student markets, embracing the widening participation agenda and their use of innovative technologies. This approach has been accelerated by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it will really help to enable wider access to nursing degrees for people who may previously have had barriers to a nursing career.”