Blended Learning - study your way
The courses being designed will take advantage of current and emerging innovative technologies while appealing to a wider range of potential students who, for example, have to balance commitments such as having a young family or a caring role, have challenges in relation to travel or the remoteness of where they live, as well as those who have a particular interest in technology and using their digital skills to study.
Working with seven universities and an advisory group with members from partner-organisations, Health Education England will test the concept in our first ever Blended Learning Nursing Degree programme – which started in early 2021.
Blended Learning Nursing Degree
The Blended Learning Nursing Degree provides a flexible way to fit study around work and life, using mainly digital technologies, but still including practical, hands-on experience.
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 began to apply from September 2020 for 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
- The Open University and Middlesex University
- The Open University and University of the 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.”
Henrietta Mbeah-Bankas - Head of Blended Learning and Digital Literacy Project Lead, Health Education England
Henrietta is a registered mental health nurse and provides overall leadership for the programme with Patrick Mitchell as the Senior Responsible Officer (SRO).
Naureen Wilson - Project Manager, Blended Learning Programme
Reporting directly to the Head of Blended Learning, Naureen is responsible for the day to day activities of all projects within the programme. She also holds line management responsibility for the Project Support Officer.
Monique Thompson - Project Support Officer
Reporting directly to the Blended Learning Project Manager, Monique provides support in achieving and maintaining all project plan milestones. Her main responsibilities are organising and supporting blended learning meetings, workshops and events.