New partnership to boost nursing numbers in Cornwall

By Azhlee Wonnacott - 21st May 2020

Nursing numbers in Cornwall are to be boosted through an exciting new partnership between the county’s leading College, the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust (RCHT) and the University of Greenwich.

Over 100 Nursing Associate positions – a new role created by the NHS to bridge the gap between a Healthcare Assistant and a registered nurse – are set to be filled when the first cohort of healthcare assistants from RCHT begin their two-year Apprenticeship at Truro and Penwith College in June.

The higher-level Apprenticeship is a foundation degree qualification awarded by the University of Greenwich, allowing learners to study a programme from one of the leading nursing universities in the UK without leaving Cornwall, and fulfilling the need for more nurses on the frontline of Cornwall’s NHS. The aim of the new programme is that it will provide career pathways and a sustainable workforce in Cornwall.

Truro and Penwith College is the first and only non-university to join the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s (NMC) list of approved education providers. As well as this allowing the creation of new courses, the College will invest in a new state-of-the-art hospital simulation suite at Truro College, with a £100,000 grant coming from the University of Greenwich to expand and develop the healthcare partnership in the future.

The College’s Director of Partnerships, Teaching and Learning Andy Stittle said: “With this partnership with the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust and the University of Greenwich, the College is now in a position to offer higher-level degree Apprenticeships locally in Truro to meet the workforce need in nursing related careers.”

Kim O’ Keeffe, Joint Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professions at RCHT and CFT, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with the outstanding team at Truro and Penwith College. Nursing Associates are a vital part of the nursing team in both health and social care settings and so developing their role is an exciting step forward for us here in Cornwall.

“Increasing opportunities to ‘earn while you learn’ releases the potential of local people, particularly the young, to commence fulfilling careers in both health and social care.”

Professor Karen Cleaver, Head of School Health Sciences at Greenwich University, added: "This is a really exciting move as we look to grow more links between the university and great colleges such as Truro and Penwith. The partnership means that the nursing workforce in Cornwall will expand.

“The nursing associate role provides a key progression route into graduate level nursing; the collaboration between the College and the University means that we can help deliver a new generation of the highest quality frontline nurses, something we are all incredibly proud to be a part of."

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To find out more about the new healthcare qualifications please contact Truro and Penwith College on 01872 267000 or click HERE.

Nursing Associates are a vital part of the nursing team in both health and social care settings and so developing their role is an exciting step forward for us here in Cornwall.

- Kim O’ Keeffe, RCHT & CFT
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