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Student feedback sparks new nursing education site for Devon


The University of Plymouth has announced it will open a new school of nursing, which is set to launch this autumn in response to feedback from current students.

The school – to be based in Exeter – will take about 100 of the 485 students expected to embark on the institution’s long-standing adult nursing programme in September.

“We hope locating these teaching facilities in Exeter will reduce the need for them to travel”

Trish Livsey

The new teaching site will not mean an increase in overall student nurse numbers. But it is hoped that it will make life easier for many students, by reducing the time it takes to get to and from home and to lectures and clinical placements.

The university said the new school was being created as a direct response to feedback from students.

It will bring the number of nurse training sites at the university to three, with the adult nursing course also on offer at the main campus in Plymouth and another site in Truro.

Professor Trish Livsey, executive dean of the university’s faculty of health and human sciences, said: “Some students commute to Plymouth from significant distances, so we hope locating these teaching facilities in Exeter will reduce the need for them to travel and cut the associated time and costs of travelling – which will particularly support our students who have caring responsibilities.”

The exact location of the new school has yet to be finalised with a tendering process under way, she noted.

Third year nursing student Sharon Chilcott, who has previously had to get up at 5am to make it to lectures on time, said the move would help her and others achieve a better work-life balance.

“Commuting to Plymouth can take up to two hours from where I live, and with a young baby to look after, commuting to Exeter is much more doable as I can get there in 20 minutes,” she said.

“The time not spent commuting can then be used to study and an added benefit is not having to get up so early,” she added.

The university is currently accepting applications to the BSc adult nursing course at the Exeter school of nursing via the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).


Readers' comments (3)

  • I hope the university considers placements aswell as my daughter had an hours drive after a night shift to get home- crazy when we live 5 minutes from the hospital in Plymouth- I can totally understand if students were to drop out because of travel stress during placement time.

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  • About time to. As a Charge Nurse working in Exeter, nearly all of the pre reg students I mentor live in Plymouth and commute to Exeter, including those with young children. Its amazing they continue with their studies. When asked about this situation, the students were always told you knew the situation when you applied. Fair comment maybe, but not really doing anything to encourage people into nursing. We did have a site in Exeter once, Earl Richards Road, but that closed, short sighted or what? I'm hoping that this will be the first of many changes that will encourage more people into nursing. I trained in the early eighties and didn't drive and guess what all my placements were within walking distance. Not rocket science is it? Common sense prevailing at last. What next?

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  • It's really sad, I'm so frustrated of late.

    The inexperienced managers don't seem to take student education seriously.

    The pressures the health service are under currently mean students (once again) are routinely being used to special (which can be mentally exhausting if not managed correctly) or manage cohorts of patient they may not be ready too.

    They are thrown right in at the deep end and are lucky if they get a good mentor nowadays.

    Recently I've seen students placed with agency staff just to help them out, how this helps students learn I don't really know.

    The students are then placed in an awful situation, they can't complain about it for being seen to be trouble makers.

    Ironically, everyone pretends everything is okay.

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