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Nursing course launched as stepping stone to degree

  • 25 Comments

A new fast-track nursing qualification designed to help students from less academic backgrounds prepare for degree education is due to start in Sheffield.

The course is a partnership between Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Sheffield College, and is intended to “address skills shortages in the healthcare workforce”.

“Access courses provide a great opportunity for adults to return to the classroom”

Lesley Rowlands

The Access to Nursing (Health Professions) Higher Education Diploma is a one-year course enabling students without qualifications such as A-levels to get to university, they said.

Access courses enable adult learners to gain credits recognised by colleges, universities and employers. Some students may also be eligible to apply for a 19+ Advanced Learner Loan.

Starting in September, the course will be taught by NHS professionals at college’s City campus. It is also suitable for students who want to return to practice within the healthcare sector, they added.

Lesley Rowlands, the college’s head of learning for health, education and care, said: “Access courses provide a great opportunity for adults to return to the classroom and fulfill their career ambitions.

“NHS professionals will teach on the course, and provide the knowledge and expertise that the nursing workforce of the future needs,” she said.

Hilary Chapman

Hilary Chapman

Hilary Chapman

Meanwhile, Professor Hilary Chapman, chief nurse at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, said: “We are delighted to have played a leading role in developing this course in partnership with The Sheffield College.

“This is a vital step forward in ensuring that the nursing workforce of the future has the appropriate level of skills, knowledge and ability to meet the rising demand for healthcare services,” she said.

Paul Corcoran, chief executive of The Sheffield College, added: “We are delighted to be working with the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals to develop the nursing talent needed both here in the city, and across the UK.”

  • 25 Comments

Readers' comments (25)

  • Sad that a staffing crisis had to prompt fairer life chances, but excellent seeing it is finally happening. We have such a rigid attitude to academia and learning in this country. Like if you didn't do it as a child, that's it, you're on the scrap heap. Tbh, I think nursing needs to be moved away out of academia anyway. Essay based courses for nursing is an unfunny joke. But, good to see social mobility being promoted anyway!

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  • Though it's great to see some coverage on access courses, it'd be interesting to see a bit more about what makes this one different to those that are already available. Mine was Access to Nursing and Allied Health Professions. Though it wasn't taught by NHS staff, it did give really good foundation knowledge.

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  • As the previous comment asks ...what is so different to all the other access courses already running providing entry to nursing? This is not in response to a staffing crisis these courses are already available nationwide and provide a valuable route for those requiring additional qualifications.
    To move nursing away from academia would be a profound backward step, evidence clearly supports that knowledgeable nurses able to solve complex problems deliver safer care. Nursing is not an essay based course it is 50% theory and 50% practice and is assessed in many different formats. To prolong this miss-held belief that it is purely based on theory merely feeds into misinformed discussions held in the popular press. Any registered nurse should know by referring to their professional website at the NMC the requirements for all nursing courses in this country..

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  • We used to call it Pre Nursing Cadets when I started in 1961 aged 16. 1 year in college & day release while working on the wards as cadets.
    That year in college was invaluable and covered 'o' level in anatomy & physiology, English, maths, nutrition, & sciences.
    We then had to pass the Hospital School of Nursing tests for admission as a student

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  • I'm sorry, my comment seems to have hit a nerve. I qualified 8 years ago so i know what I'm talking about. that 50% of 'theory' was entirely essay based (bar one exam), the other 50% of practice was spent, pretty much, solely as a HCA on the wards. Evidence clearly supports knowledgeable nurses delivering safer care, of course it does. However, is this practical to have a ridiculously highly educated nurse? Surely, those with PhDs in Chemistry would no doubt do a better evidence-based job at cleaning instead of cleaners, considering they have a better knowledge of chemicals than the latter. This however, is not practical, nor an appropriate, nor cost effective way of using this knowledge.

    If a nurse has the capacity to train and learn at an exceptionally high standard, they should be encouraged to practice medicine instead. Medicine fulfils both the highly qualified part, and the ability to be compassionate and care about human life too.

    Also, studies that show benefits on patient care of having degree level nurses can't in anyway claim it is their nursing degree that is causing this. It is just as likely, if not more so, that a certain calibre of nurse can apply for, and complete a nursing degree, which is the factor which affects better care provision. Not the degree content itself. Additionally, these studies that show better mortality rates etc with nurses that are degree educated are not operating in a vacuum. They are operating in contexts where there is also far fewer doctors than there should be. If we had sufficient medical staff, would degree level nurses wouldn't be as crucial. Anyway, I really cannot see how my degree in any way prepared me for working as a nurse. The essays surely didn't.

    I am in no way saying nurses shouldn't have knowledge here, they absolutely should. It is essential that it is appropriate however. Nursing should be a practical, skills based profession, learnt in action, but backed up with appropriate skills based knowledge. Counsellling skills, pharmacology, anatomy & pathophysiology, etc.

    Essay based, university education has taken nursing the wrong way, and it is perpetuated by the egos of those that would like to keep it this way. I don't mean to offend. I just mean to defend and clarify my position in response to what I see is a little bit of a hostile response to my original point.

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  • Those who want to do medicine train as Drs and those who want to be nurses and give care to the patients train as nurses.
    Please dont undermine the HCA as you will have learnt a hell of a lot from them. A good HCA is worth their weight in gold.
    You sound like a wannabe Dr. If nursing isnt for you & thats what you want go do it!

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  • Ouch! where did I undermine HCAs? I said I worked as one. I did so before my training, and throughout. I was making the point that doing so as part of my nurse training in the 50% practice part wasn't beneficial as I believe I was used as cheap and convenient labour instead of having the opportunity to learn the role of an RN.

    Thanks for the careers advice too, but I'm very content with my lot, no desire to be a dr thanks. The system is wrong as is the ideology behind it. That's is the point I'm trying to make here.

    I enjoy coming here for the debating aspect, this is how I learn things. I wish you would have come back at me with a more constructive response. You seem to have an almighty chip on your shoulder about something.

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  • If you want to be a Doctor train as a Doctor, If you want to be a Nurse train to be a Nurse, If you want to be a Care Assistant do the NVQ'S as long as you are prepared to be accountable and care first for the individuals you will be looking after this should be your first priority.
    Yes I do have a nursing degree and think all nurses should have one after all it is 2016 and technology in medicine will require the degree knowledge.

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  • As per my first comment, i don't believe it is that simple. We have some very rigid class driven social hierarchies in this country, with disgusting levels of inequality. Some avenues and life chances are nigh on impossible for a lot of sections of society. I personally don't buy into the fact that those that become HCAs are doing it solely due to wanting to be a HCA. I think a great many other factors are at force that influence this.

    This is why I'm saying I think access courses are a great idea, as they encourage people through alternative means to reach their potential that they may have been held back from due their not having as many opportunities as someone who was born into a different set of circumstances.

    But I also feel strongly about the end goal needing huge reformations, as my nursing education I don't believe was in any way fit for purpose. I totally agree we all need to be educated to the needs of society and modern medicine. Where we disagree it seems is on how it's done.

    I'd be interested in finding out what parts of your theory were beneficial in this respect? And do you think you could have trained without essay based modules? (not being difficult, I genuinely want to know, as my thoughts from my education are at the polar extreme to yours).

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  • michael stone

    Anonymous 22 August, 2016 6:06 pm

    I don't intend to intrude much on your debate - there clearly is one, but I'm not going to get into it. I'll make a couple of comments, but I get hopelessly lost about who is writing what, when everything is posted as 'Anonymous'.

    But re:

    'Surely, those with PhDs in Chemistry would no doubt do a better evidence-based job at cleaning instead of cleaners, considering they have a better knowledge of chemicals than the latter.'

    Writing as someone who has a PhD in chemistry, and very little motivation to actually bother to clean things, I doubt that I would do a better job at cleaning than cleaners.

    As for 'the debate'.

    I agree with:

    'Some avenues and life chances are nigh on impossible for a lot of sections of society. I personally don't buy into the fact that those that become HCAs are doing it solely due to wanting to be a HCA. I think a great many other factors are at force that influence this.'

    I agree with this:

    'Nursing should be a practical, skills based profession, learnt in action, but backed up with appropriate skills based knowledge. Counsellling skills, pharmacology, anatomy & pathophysiology, etc.'

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