London’s City University will soon bid farewell to a pioneering programme for overseas nurses that has helped hundreds qualify to join the UK register.
The overseas nurses programme run by City University London for the past 15 years is to end, following regulatory changes that deem it no longer necessary.
“We are immensely proud of what has been achieved”
The course, which has had a variety of titles – including “adaptation” and “supervised practice” – since it began in 2001, was the first of its kind to be approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council.
Since it started, the university said hundreds of overseas qualified nurses had started the programme and obtained their nursing registrations with the NMC.
The university described it as a “unique blend” of theoretical support and supervised practice, with students undertaking clinical practice and study days concurrently.
However, the programme is to close as a result of changes to the way the NMC registers nurses who qualify overseas, which was first unveiled in autumn 2014.
The new system, which consists of an online self-assessment of eligibility to apply followed by a competence test, meant the overseas nursing programme previously offered by City was no longer needed, said a spokesman for the university.
As reported by Nursing Times, part one of the NMC’s new system is a multiple choice examination and part two is a practical examination called an OSCE – objective structured clinical examination.
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As a result of the change, the final overseas nurses programme at City commenced on 21 July 2016.
The university’s school of health sciences paid tribute to the contribution made by Ben Teh, who has led the programme since its inception, with a special event on 24 June.
Former students and staff from the university and local NHS trusts, praised Mr Teh for his commitment to supporting the many overseas qualified nurses going through the programme.
Originating from Malaysia and arriving in the UK as a student himself, Mr Teh was described as having a “natural empathy” with those he supported through supervision and class-based teaching.
He achieved an exceptionally high pass rate for the progamme, noted the university, as well as high ratings from students for teaching standards, personal development and overall satisfaction.
City to end pioneering course for overseas nurses
The vast majority of his students were from India and the Philippines, but Mr Teh also supported students from countries including: Brazil, Brunei, China, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Japan, Canada, the US, New Zealand, Australia, Iran, Pakistan, Nepal, Mauritius, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe.
Julie Attenborough, associate dean and director of undergraduate studies, highlighted that, although other universities offered the programme, City became the “university of choice” for it throughout London, the South East and South of England.
“We are immensely proud of what has been achieved and owe an enormous debt of gratitude to Ben Teh for his insightful and far sighted leadership of the programme,” she said.
“We are pleased that we will continue to work together on the return to practice programme, which is flourishing and continues to develop year-on-year, giving nurses whose registration has lapsed the opportunity to return to practice in the NHS and beyond,” she added.