Nursing Associates Honoured in Special Ceremony

Nursing Associate celebration web

A Nursing Associate Celebration Event, held at the University of Worcester Arena, saw 56 trainee Nursing Associates given a commemorative pin badge as they completed their two years of study.

Nursing Associates are a newly formed role developed nationally to support the registered nursing workforce and are intended to address a skills gap between health care assistants and registered nurses.  As employees generally already in health and care settings, the students combine work-based learning with study at the University.

Worcester was one of the first institutions to introduce the programme in 2017, as one of 35 test sites in the country chosen to help facilitate the programme nationally.

Among those who will graduate in November and attended the event were trainee Nursing Associates Kate Robson and Matthew Pimm.  They have both been shortlisted in the Nursing Times Student Awards for Nursing Associate Trainee of the Year, which will be announced later this month.

Matthew, who was a health care assistant at Kidderminster Hospital, will now work as a Nursing Associate on the same ward.  “The celebration event was a great acknowledgement of the journey and hard work it's taken for us all to progress from Trainee Nursing Associates to Nursing Associates,” he said.  “It was an opportunity to reflect on the past two years but also to look to the future with our new role.  In those two years I have grown and developed, with the help of the University, lecturers, clinical tutors and mentors into a soon to be Nursing Associate, providing the best, patient-centred, evidence based care. It has given me the confidence to think outside the box and to apply and promote evidence based knowledge in innovative ways.  I look forward to applying the skills and knowledge to have a larger input in providing high quality patient care.”

University staff and representatives, as well as mentors from the trusts the University works with on the programme, were present, including Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, Wye Valley NHS Trust and 2Gether NHS Foundation Trust. 

Robert Dudley, Head of the University of Worcester’s Three Counties School of Nursing and Midwifery, said: “We are very proud of our very first cohort of Nursing Associates and wanted to pay tribute to their dedication to both their work and studies.  The course has proved enormously successful and we know our students will continue to work alongside registered nurses, providing high quality, person-centred care and displaying the best qualities of nursing; competence, confidence and compassion.  They will help to ensure that patients will receive the best of care.  We hope their journey can inspire others to follow a similar path and make a real difference to our healthcare services.”

The University has long-standing strengths in health education, with a reputation for outstanding quality provision, partnership working and delivery in its Nursing and Midwifery training.  It has been shortlisted five times as Nurse Education Provider of the Year.  It plays a leading role in researching and developing innovative and creative solutions in health and wellbeing, such as establishing the UK’s first Masters in Physician Associates, to help meet the changing needs of the health service.

The University offers specialist courses in Adult, Child and Mental Health Nursing and students spend three years combining academic study with practical skills training, and a minimum of 2,300 hours working in hospitals wards, GP surgeries and community health clinics. The University works in close co-operation with employers, including NHS Trusts in the regions.  Graduate employment rates are 100% with Worcester qualified nurses in high demand throughout Britain and beyond.

The University is currently well advanced in working towards the creation of the Three Counties Medical School, which will see it expand its expertise in health care education and provide much-needed training for doctors across these communities.