The Open University and the RCN have launched a new partnership intended to help boost flexible learning opportunities for nurses.
The alliance will enhance and extend the current Open University curriculum which already offers a pioneering open learning qualifying programme for nurses, and options for continuing professional development in specialist areas.
New courses include a Masters programme in advancing healthcare practice, and a 'top up' programme which enables qualified nurses to achieve an honours degree by studying just two years part-time.
RCN general secretary Peter Carter said: 'Working together, the RCN and The Open University will be able to make a real difference to the healthcare workforce through the delivery of top-quality, flexible learning for staff who would otherwise be unable to access higher education courses to support their careers.
'Healthcare support workers and nurses will be able to continue to earn as they learn and apply their learning to their practice for the benefit of patients and clients.'