The first group of student nurses to pay for their university fees are due to complete their programmes this month, before taking up jobs in the North West of England later this year.
A total of 11 trainee nurses from the University of Bolton will finish the three-year degree in the coming weeks and will formally graduate in the summer.
“Hard work and the commitment of university staff and hospitals has resulted in nursing students recruited locally”
They were taught on the country’s first pre-registration course that was not funded by Health Education England.
The programme was launched in January 2015 to try and tackle workforce shortages – before the government announced later that year it was removing healthcare bursaries in England, and that HEE would no longer commission undergraduate nursing courses.
Since autumn 2017, all trainees in England have been required to pay their own university fees by taking out a student loan.
The University of Bolton designed its programme in collaboration with Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which guaranteed a job offer to all those who passed the course, as previously reported by Nursing Times.
“We are incredibly proud of our first group of nurses as they conclude their training,” said Professor George Holmes, president and vice chancellor of the University of Bolton.
“Their hard work and the commitment of both university staff and local teaching hospitals has resulted in nursing students recruited and trained locally, who will go into work at local hospitals, supporting Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust along with Greater Manchester’s 2021 vision for healthcare,” he added.
Further groups of students have since joined the self-funded programme and the University of Bolton expects to double the number of trainees, from 140 last year to around 290.