The OU pre-registration nursing programme is aimed at experienced healthcare support workers. However individuals with experience working in other roles in healthcare environments have also successfully accessed the programme:
- Ward receptionist
- Dental nurse
- Medical secretary.
During the time that they are students on the programme, they must be employed in a healthcare support worker role and their designated practice learning base must be in a nursing context.
Student nurses are expected to:
- Effectively manage the continual transition between their role as a health care support worker and their role as a student nurse. This can be particularly challenging at the start of the programme, where both the student and work colleagues are adjusting to these changing roles
- Effectively manage their time to ensure that they meet all the programme requirements for completion of theory hours, practice hours, theoretical and practice-based assessments
- Negotiate and agree with their mentor and line manager those days when they will undertake theoretical learning or learning in practice as a student nurse and those days when they will work as a health care support worker. Once agreed, these arrangements can only be changed through further negotiation and may not be changed at the last minute, other than in exceptional circumstances
- Report sickness or absence to their line manager. This applies whether they are on study days, learning in practice in their workplace setting or a complementary practice experience or working as a support worker
- Keep their mentor and line manager informed about their progress through the programme, with particular reference to complementary experience arrangements, tutorials, and any other activities that may impact on agreed working arrangements
- Utilise the existing skills that they have already developed as a worker in healthcare, to develop and enhance their knowledge, practice and professional behaviour as a student nurse.
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