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Scotland welcomes first school nurse graduates in 17 years

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The first class of specialist school nurses to be trained in Scotland since 2001 have graduated.

Vivienne Adamson, Corrine McIvor, Lee Morrison, Vikki Murphy and Debbie Smart were sponsored to study at the University of the West of Scotland (UWS) by various NHS health boards.

“We are pleased to see the Scottish government planning to allocate more funding to train nurses, as well as prioritise specialist nursing”

Julie Edgar

The specialist community public health nursing (school nursing) course was reintroduced at UWS in 2017 after Scotland’s chief nursing officer, Fiona McQueen, called for school nurses to be educated to enable them to support children with their emotional health and wellbeing.

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The five nurses, who are located across Scotland, from Glasgow to the Western Isles, learned through a combination of distance learning, online tutorials and on-campus learning.

The course focussed on developing specialist healthcare skills to meet the needs of children and young adults between the ages of five and 19.

UWS is one of only three institutions in Scotland delivering a specialist community public health nurse programme for school nurses and is currently educating a further 15 students.

Julie Edgar, dean of the school of health and life sciences at UWS, said staff were “proud” to be delivering the course, and of those who graduated.

“Some of our graduates had previously been working within school nursing teams for several years, and were simply waiting for an opportunity to qualify, showing there’s demand for specialist skills,” she added.

“The emotional health and wellbeing of young people is particularly important, and this is central to our qualification.”

The dean also said: “We are pleased to see the Scottish government planning to allocate more funding to train nurses, as well as prioritise specialist nursing, as this will be key to ensuring children in Scotland have equal access to specialist care.”

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