On the 25 September the Faculty of Health Sciences, at the University of Southampton, held an alumni evening to celebrate 30 years of its nursing degree, which commenced in 1982. Over a hundred former nursing graduates attended.
The University of Southampton is currently ranked among the top three institutions for pre-registration nurse education in the UK.
When the Faculty of Medicine was established in 1972 it offered an innovative medicine degree, which, unlike other existing courses, included patient contact from day one. This course was so successful that in 1982 the faculty developed a parallel-integrated bachelor‘s degree programme in nursing.
The first two lecturers were appointed in 1982 and the first professor of nursing was appointed in April 1991.
The nursing studies department continued to grow and in 1992 launched an integrated degree in children’s nursing. In 1995 the department expanded further and offered an integrated degree in midwifery. Nowadays the faculty now has 16 professors.
Although early cohorts were small, many alumni have gone on to achieve positions of influence in healthcare. These include academic positions at other universities, and senior management positions in NHS Trusts and similar professional organizations. Several students from the cohort attended the alumni evening, where they had the opportunity to catch up on professional and personal gossip.
After thirty years of running nursing degrees, the University of Southampton has a thriving educational and research culture that is pivotally positioned to endow tomorrow’s nurses with the skills, knowledge and attitudes necessary to work in a wide variety of clinical settings. The university is keenly aware that the care patients receive in contemporary healthcare may only ever be as good as the nurse who delivers it. The Faculty of Health Sciences remains committed to the promotion of evidence and values based healthcare, delivered by highly educated, skilled and competent nurses.
To celebrate the occasion a collection of vintage Hampshire and Isle of Wight hospital nursing badges were displayed. They are now housed in the foyer of the Nightingale building, the home of modern nursing, named after Hampshire’s most famous nurse who live and died in East Wellow, near Southampton.
Alumni guests were also treated to a magnificent display or 16 historic original nurse’s uniforms and a collection of vintage photographic displays of nurses at work through the ages. Additionally a replica Florence Nightingale dress was created for the event and this has now been donated to the Florence Nightingale Museum in London.