Three healthcare education providers have teamed up to swell the number of nurses in South West London. Kingston University, St George’s Hospital Medical School and Merton College have signed a progression agreement to smooth the way for students eager to become registered nurses.
The partners hope that by providing additional support to ease the transition between college courses and university, students from a variety of backgrounds will be attracted into the profession. As part of the initiative, Merton College students will be invited to the university to try out equipment in its clinical skills’ laboratories and meet staff. Other plans include shadowing and mentoring programmes, interview workshops and study skills’ weekends.
Dean of the faculty of health and social care sciences Professor Pat Salter said there were already significant numbers of former Merton College students taking nursing degrees and diplomas at the university. “They have proven to be excellent students. Many are mature with family commitments while others left school at 16. The courses offered at Merton have really changed their lives by paving the way for them to fulfil their aspirations of a career in nursing,” he said.
The project would help the university meet its commitment to increase the number of students from under-represented groups in higher education, Professor Salter added. “We expect it will provide the impetus for other collaborations with further education colleges,” he said. “This will allow big steps to be taken in reaching challenging NHS targets for healthcare workforce development.”