The University of Surrey offers post-registration education that equips nurses for the changing face of healthcare
Well known for its high-quality pre-registration nurse education, the University of Surrey also offers world-class postgraduate study, research and continuing professional development (CPD) for qualified nurses and midwives. Its school of health sciences organises research in cross-cutting themes, each led by teams of highly respected researchers, to reflect and shape developments in healthcare.
The eHealth team, led by Dr Jo Armes, works with engineering and commercial partners to develop new ways of delivering healthcare closer to people’s homes and create technological innovations that transform the way diseases are diagnosed, treated and managed. Current areas of research include remote electronic symptom management and automated data collection via wearable apps.
Clinical Innovation, led by Professor Sara Faithfull, addresses challenges presented by the rise in multi-morbidity and the need to improve care across specialist disease boundaries. The team also focuses on improving fitness, nutrition and function in people who are recovering from illness, and developing innovative methods of addressing health problems early and improving patients’ long-term outcomes.
Ethics are crucial to healthcare practice, and health professionals need to be able to respond constructively and effectively to issues. Ethics in Care, led by Professor Ann Gallagher, researches a range of ethical issues, including the relationship between cultural diversity and compassionate care and promoting dignity in care homes.
Workforce, Organisation and Wellbeing, led by Professor Jill Maben, works to improve staff health and wellbeing. Its research focuses include a new care certificate for healthcare assistants, improving staff resilience and developing systems for staff to safely raise concerns.
The university’s research themes run through four clusters of professional education and research expertise. These consist of groups of researchers, teachers and students with an interest in particular diseases or client groups.
The Acute and Emergency Care cluster, led by Dr Margaret Lau-Walker, develops novel diagnostics, interventions and systems of care, to allow the best possible patient outcomes. The Cancer Care cluster, led by Dr Katrina Whittaker, investigates issues including the burden of cancer across the lifetime, and access to screening.
Long-term Conditions and Ageing, led by Dr Nicola Carey, focuses on a number of areas including e-health, diabetes, dementia, depression, cancer and people with multiple long-term conditions. Led by Faith Gibson, Maternal and Child Health aims to reduce child and maternal morbidity and mortality by improving understanding of maternal and child health issues, including obesity, accident prevention in the under-fives, contraception, diabetes and mental health care.
The university’s research expertise feeds into its high-quality post-registration education for nurses and midwives. A new CPD framework (see Box) offers almost 80 degree- and master’s-level modules that can be taken individually or combined into whole courses.
While nurses with a diploma qualification can convert to a degree, the university is also keen to support them to step straight to master’s level if they can demonstrate that they can safely study at that level.
Dr Melaine Coward, head of the school of health sciences, says it works hard to meet individual students’ needs. “We’re good at acknowledging that people come with a variety of abilities. We’re not about tick-boxes, we look at who someone is and how we can enable them to develop their knowledge and career.”
Dr Coward is keen to encourage nurses into doctoral study. She believes this does not require years of clinical experience, and that nurses should consider it early in their careers. She points out that a third-year pre-registration student was recently awarded a scholarship to work with Professor Maben on workforce.
The university enables nurses to study for a PhD either part-time or full-time, and a number of scholarships are available.
“The beauty of nursing is that it allows you to do part-time study and still earn money through bank or agency work or moving to part-time work for a time,” says Dr Coward. “Doctoral research is how you really influence practice.”
As nursing becomes increasingly complex, practising nurses need to do more than simply fulfil minimum CPD requirements. The University of Surrey offers them the opportunity to operate at the leading edge of nursing practice.
Examples of CPD modules
- Advanced Communication Skills
- Care of the Acutely Ill Patient
- Challenges in Pain Management
- Leading and Managing Long-term Conditions
- Palliative Care Interventions
- Return to Practice
- Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults
For a full list of modules visit Bit.ly/SurreyCPD