Health Minister Robin Swann MLA has confirmed that Executive funding is in place to secure an additional 65 nursing undergraduate places with The Open University in Northern Ireland this year, bringing the total to a new all-time high of 185.
‘New Decade, New Approach’ set out a key priority of providing a further 900 pre-registration nursing and midwifery training places over a 3-year period, commencing in 2020/21. This priority was reiterated in the framework agreement that led to the end of the recent Agenda for Change industrial dispute.
John D’Arcy, National Director of The Open University in Ireland said: “I am delighted to confirm that The Open University has received a further 65 training places for nurses this year. These additional 65 places are a massive boost for The Open University in Northern Ireland’s Future Nurse Program. We are proud to play our part in producing the nurses of the future. For over 17 years, we have delivered a highly successful work-based pre-registration nursing programme in partnership with the five healthcare trusts here in Northern Ireland.”
The new places are apportioned among the adult, children’s, mental health and learning disability fields of practice.
“The last few months have shown more than ever the importance of training key workers for the future and this is something The Open University in Northern Ireland will endeavour to support the Northern Ireland Executive in any way we can.
In Autumn 2020, we will be introducing our exciting new Future Nurse Curriculum to meet the new standards for nursing education published by the Nursing and Midwifery Council. It will aim to produce the nurses of the future and address the shortage of nurses across Northern Ireland.”