The future of Nursing is changing – Nurse training comes back to Portsmouth

The new course, Bachelor of Nursing (Honours) degree in Adult Nursing starts on 30th January 2017, at the University of Portsmouth. This is an exciting opportunity and is welcomed by the School of Health Sciences and Social Work. It has the added benefit of working with local partners to address the nursing workforce needs of the population.


Kirsty Harris, a lecturer on the programme from the School of Health Sciences and Social Work, tell us more about the forthcoming course.




Tell us a bit about your professional background.

I started my Diploma in Nursing in 1997 at the University of Portsmouth and Registered as a Nurse in February 2000. I had the opportunity to work as a rotational nurse and advanced my nursing skills by working in medicine, surgery, the emergency department and intensive care at Portsmouth Hospital's NHS Foundation Trust. 


After completion of the rotational post I found myself drawn to intensive care nursing and continued to develop my nursing skills. I completed my intensive care course recognised by English National Board (ENB) and developed an interest in transferring critically ill patients. The outcome of this experience inspired me to teach and in order to improve practice, I obtained a Certificate in Education. My hunger to learn continued and in 2007, I accomplished a Master’s degree in Advanced Professional Practice and worked as an agency nurse in Iraq (Basra) working alongside the military. 


On return from Iraq, I joined the intensive care teaching team as a secondment and this is where I became involved with simulation training. I enjoyed the simulation training so much I managed to secure a part-time contract in simulation and intensive care. In 2011, I was awarded with a 1 year simulation fellowship with Health Education England and became full-time simulation. From completing the fellowship I was given the opportunity to study part-time for professional doctorate.


In September 2016, I moved to the University of Portsmouth to become part of the new nursing team. I continue in my quest for academia and completion of my professional doctorate by developing the nurses of the future. 


Can you tell us about the new upcoming course?  

The new course, Bachelor of Nursing (Honours) degree in Adult Nursing cohort starts on 30th January 2017 with two cohorts a year; January and September. The course has been developed with local partners and specialists to address workforce needs of the population and demographics to include integrated and person-centred care. 


The course programme is 3 years and focuses on developing competent, skilled Adult Nurses and has been designed to meet the requirements of the pre-registration curriculum in partnership with the local National Health Service Trusts. Work-based learning is a key component and students will develop practical skills in safe, simulated teaching environments, before being supervised in using these skills in practice in one of our placement providers. 


The context for nursing and health care is changing, due to the ageing population and the increased incidence of complex conditions and frailty (Shape of caring, 2015). The NHS needs nurses who can promote hospital avoidance and reduce hospital admissions and length of stay. This will enable the acute care settings to focus on more complex patients. In reduce pressure on hospitals, more nurses will need to work in the community, keeping people at home where it is feasible. In addition, further integration of health and care is required to make healthcare more sustainable.


What practical elements can the students expect?

On this course students will learn how to observe, examine, assess and engage with patients and service users in both community and hospital settings. They will develop skills in evidence based decision making to support and deliver best practice, use the latest simulation facilities to develop and refine clinical skills and competence and, more importantly, develop critical thinking, resilience and leadership skills.


What numbers are we expecting for the 2017 intake? 

The nursing course has approval for 120 students starting in February 2017 with a second cohort of a minimum of 75 students in September 2017. Over the recent few weeks we have seen a steady influx of nursing applications and will be holding regular interviews every month. With such a high demand we would expect the programme to develop and grow in the next couple of years.   


What practical placements can the students expect?

Local practices (and potential placement providers) have been aware of this and are keen for students to succeed. With an ageing population the demand for services (and indeed most healthcare services) is only going to increase. 


We are looking to provide students with wide ranging experience in order to encourage confidence in providing further care to that end. In addition to placements within community practices, we are looking at having arrangements with specialist practices offering disease monitoring and treatment. Like all professions, Nursing is changing, health promotion and further disease training is leading to an increase in the scope of nursing practice, looking after patients who until now would be cared for within the hospital setting. We aim to provide our students with the skills and confidence to fit into this changing landscape and to be at the forefront of health practice.


What other staff are coming on board to help launch the course?

In this respect we have been very fortunate, we have an excellent team with a wide range of clinical experience within School of Health Sciences and Social Work (SHSSW). The nursing team also have the advantage of having a mix of clinical backgrounds, allowing us to provide students not only with the theoretical implementation of clinical skills but with extensive experience to support their learning. The other full time member of the team, Isobel Ryder (Programme Lead) has a wealth of experience within nursing, midwifery and academia. Sue Rourke has experience in adult and paediatric nursing in critical care, simulation, technology enhanced learning and fitness to practice, Debbie Atkinson has experience in hospital with adult and paediatric critical care nursing, nurse education and numeracy in nursing. Gilly Mancz has experience in Public Health and Health Visiting and has interests in safeguarding and interprofessional working. Raph Morgan is the lead for supporting learners in practice programme and has extensive experience in orthopaedics, care of the older person, community nursing and academia. Nick Purkis has hospital experience in neurological rehabilitation and has extensive experience in academia.


In addition to our full-time staff, we have three part time academics; Melanie Tanner has experience of primary care and is a community specialist practitioner, with a special interest in caring for the patient with complex long term conditions;, Lisa Farley has experience in mental health and wellbeing (adult, child and adolescent), substance misuse, public health, early intervention, quality of care delivery, service user experience and Yvette Revell-Smith is an advanced nurse practitioner and specialises in ophthalmology, with an interest in diabetes.  


Can you tell us a bit about the new facilities? 

The Centre for Simulation in Health and Care in St. Andrew’s Court consists of two ward areas, featuring two isolation cubicles, a GP surgery, residential care facility and a one-bedroom flat. The facilities have been purpose built to support the changes to nursing and out-of-hospital care, ensuring an holistic approach to learning.  A variety of learning environments have been developed to enable acute and community focused learning.


We held an informal event on the 13 December 2016 and invited our first cohort of students and stakeholders to celebrate the opening of the new facilities. A formal opening event is due to take place in April 2017.


See a fly through video of the facilities in St Andrew's Court.

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