A care home provider in the North West is hoping to attract new nurses into the care sector by offering student placements.
A partnership project with the NHS and North West Placement Development Authority will give second and third year students the chance to gain practical experience at one of five Belong “care villages” run by the CLS Care Services Group.
“There is quite a bit of stigma from outside the care sector about what our nurses do”
As well as providing valuable work experience to student nurses, managers hope the scheme will also help with recruitment by raising awareness of opportunities in the sector.
While most healthcare settings have been affected by the current nursing workforce shortages, concerns have been raised that the care home sector has suffered the most.
“Nurse recruitment is a major issue for the care sector and we hope this partnership will expose the next generation of nurses to a new kind of working environment and inspire them to consider a career in this area of the care sector,” said Julie Washington, general manager at the Belong site in Atherton.
Nurses at Atherton and another setting in Wigan are currently undertaking accredited mentorship training so they can support students.
Phil Orton, head of people at Belong, said part of the scheme was about challenging misconceptions of modern residential care.
Care home provider to offer student nurse placements
“We have been looking at how we can provide a good learning experience for nursing staff when they are with us, so that they are more familiar with the sector and the kind of work we do,” he said.
“There is quite a bit of stigma from outside the care sector about what our nurses do and there is an outdated image of working in care homes,” said Mr Orton.
“We want to show that the work we actually do is much more about getting residents and customers involved in activities,” he added.
Two nursing students were due to start placements in Atherton this Spring before the scheme is rolled out to other Belong sites in Wigan, Crewe, Macclesfield and Warrington.
Student nurses will mainly be recruited from Manchester Metropolitan University, the University of Manchester, University of Central Lancashire, University of Chester and University of Salford.