29th May 2013, 9:46am
Student nurses are well-placed to learn on the wards
Nursing students The way Lincolnshire's next generation of nurses are being prepared for work on the wards has been praised in a report by a national regulator.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council awarded a rating of 'good' in all five areas assessed in its latest monitoring report into the partnership arrangements between the University of Lincoln and organisations where the University’s student nurses undertake training placements.

The report, which forms part of the NMC's UK wide Quality Assurance Framework, focussed specifically on the learning, assessment and mentoring of pre-registration adult nurses and the undergraduate nursing programme at the University of Lincoln, including placement providers in the NHS and private and independent sectors.

The number of new nursing students being educated by the University of Lincoln has grown substantially. The University was selected in 2011 as the preferred provider to deliver adult and mental health nursing education for the whole of Lincolnshire. Around 220 new nursing students enrolled in its School of Health and Social Care in September, four times the size of the previous intake.

As the regulator for nursing and midwifery in the UK, one of the NMC's many roles is to set standards of training and education for the 660,000 healthcare professionals.

The findings of the NMC were based on visits to wards, the University and feedback from patients, students, academic and healthcare staff from a wide variety of settings.

The report has acknowledged  that the University and placement providers are working well together, to ensure standards of care are high and that the appropriate systems are in place to ensure this quality of care is sustained.

The NMC praised the way the growth in nursing students at the University of Lincoln is being managed, and what this means for the oversight of student placements.

It also acknowledged the innovative nature of the Nursing programme at Lincoln, including the focus on public health, and commended the use of the University's new Simulated Practice Learning Environment, which offers students and their training mentors a place to learn away from wards.

Dr Julie Williams, Director of Nurse Education at the University of Lincoln, said: "The outcome of this latest monitoring report by the NMC is excellent news for students, healthcare professionals and patients and their families. It recognises that we have built strong partnerships with placement providers and have solid systems in place to ensure that our student nurses, and their mentors, are well-supported throughout their placements."

Director of Nursing at United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, Eiri Jones, said she was delighted with the NMC report. She added: "It confirms that the work the Trust has undertaken in relation to improving the student practice learning experience in partnership with its education provider has been effective. The trust is fully committed to supporting learners in practice and to working in a collaborative way with the University of Lincoln."

Sue Cousland, Chief Nurse and Director of Operations at Lincolnshire Community Health Services, said: "This report is a real boost for all the staff in Lincolnshire and supports the very real commitment of all providers in supporting the University to ensure that all students are trained to look after patients whether they are in a hospital or community setting."
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