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Nursing and Midwifery Council approves new UEL nursing degree course

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UEL's new nursing programme gains seal of approval from the profession's governing body.

by Lee Pinkerton

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has approved a new degree course in nursing at the University of East London (UEL), paving the way for delivery of the programme in January 2018.

UEL is the sole NMC-approved institution for nursing in east London, which is experiencing an acute shortage of nurses.

Charmagne Barnes, Dean of UEL’s School of Health, Sport and Bioscience, said, “I am absolutely delighted.  This programme is not just important to the School of HSB, but to the university and the community of east London as a whole.  

“We had five commendations for our programme.  The NMC was really impressed by the fact that the programme has been led by our clinical partners, and they felt that service user and student involvement was embedded in the programme.  Our hugely successful approval could not have happened without their enthusiasm, consistent support and contribution to development of the curriculum.” 

The NMC, which is the UK regulator for the nursing and midwifery professions, sets standards, guidance and requirements for nursing and midwifery education across the UK, ensuring that standards for patient and public safety are met by graduate nurses who are critical thinkers with the appropriate knowledge, skills, attitudes and values required of health care professionals. 

Formal approval of UEL’s BSc (Hons) Nursing (Adult) course has been a two-step process. In March, the NMC granted approval to the University as an institution. This week, the nursing programme itself was approved. 

By training local people for local jobs, UEL hopes that the new course will go some way to addressing the acute shortage of nurses in east London.

Last year, a report by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) revealed that there were more than 10,000 unfilled nursing vacancies across London, including more than 1,044 vacant posts at the Barts Health NHS Trust and 333 at the Barking, Havering and Redbridge NHS Trust.

UEL will be running the course as a partnership with the Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals and North East London Foundation NHS Trusts. The course will be 50 per cent theory and 50 per cent learning in the clinical environment, with students working alongside qualified nurses and clinicians.

Ms Barnes, herself a qualified nurse, said, “At present there is no local provision for pre-registration nursing within east London.

“With our NHS partners, it is anticipated that 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.”

Ms Barnes thanked colleagues who contributed to the programme gaining approval.

“We could not have done it without our Head of Nursing and Simulated Learning Sharon Elliot, who has been absolutely amazing, and Associate Dean Fiona Edwards, who has only been here with us for three months but has put in about three years’ worth of work in relation to this programme development ”

For more information on UEL’s nursing programme, visit the course page