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University and trusts launch nurse training and research academy in Devon

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A new nursing academy has been launched today to “combine academic rigour with NHS expertise”, with the aim of raising standards of care in Devon.

The collaboration will support existing nurses, ensuring they are in close contact with the science of nursing and the latest approaches through seminars, mentoring systems and conferences.

“We will foster nurses who will be pioneers and improve standards”

David Richards

Those behind the move said it would develop nurses to be at the “forefront” of regional, national and global advances in care, as previously reported by Nursing Times. The academy is located at the University of Exeter, which has been driving the creation of the training and research initiative.

Devon Partnership NHS Trust, Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust, the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust and Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust are all part of the scheme.

They said the new Academy of Nursing would “combine outstanding research, education and professional development to foster a community of constantly curious and innovative nurses” in the South West.

“We want to provide every nurse with the support they need to be the best they can be”

Em Wilkinson-Brice

Professor David Richards, head of the new Academy of Nursing, said: “Nurses are under intense pressure. Alongside the fundamental duties of caring, they now need to take on increasingly technical and complex procedures.

“Research shows that the higher the standard of nurse education, the lower inpatient death rates,” he said. “We will foster nurses who will be pioneers and improve standards in the South West and worldwide.”

Professor Em Wilkinson-Brice, deputy chief executive and chief nurse at Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust, said: “From core to advanced practise, we want to provide every nurse with the support they need to be the best they can be.

“The Academy of Nursing creates a seat of learning for those new to the profession as well as those more experienced; a place where ambition, curiosity and learning will be actively encouraged and nurtured – that is exciting,” she said.

Darryn Allcorn, director of nursing, quality and workforce at Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “The launch of the academy is a big step forwards on a journey that will deliver even higher standards of care to patients across Devon.”

“In many ways they will be scientists as well as clinical practitioners”

Paul Keedwell

Paul Keedwell, director of nursing and practice at Devon Partnership NHS Trust, said: “The academy will help us to ensure that we have great leaders who inspire confidence in their teams and lead by example.

“In many ways they will be scientists as well as clinical practitioners, empowered to find, use and produce the research evidence that ensures people get the best care possible,” he said. “It’s an incredibly exciting opportunity for the development of the nursing profession.”

Jane Viner, chief nurse at Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, added: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Exeter University and to be a part of its new Academy of Nursing.”

Earlier this week, two of the county’s main acute service providers announced a new “collaboration” that will see them share some senior staff and could potentially lead to a merger of the organisations.

Northern Devon Healthcare and the Royal Devon and Exeter have agreed in principle to an arrangement that will see a dedicated senior management team based at each acute hospital site in Barnstaple and Exeter.

University of Exeter

University and trusts launch pioneering Devon nursing academy

Academy of Nursing

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