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University of Southampton to Train All Nurses to Degree Level

Written on 12/8/11

The Nursing and Midwifery Council has approved a university’s plans to train all its nursing pupils to degree standard, making it the first institution in England to change to meet new UK rules.

The University of Southampton has satisfied the council its planned nursing degree schedule meets strict quality criteria and will put the plan in place from September.

Dean of the health sciences faculty Professor Jessica Corner said: “This is an historic moment for nursing - we have been pressing for this for a very long time. From September we will be preparing a new generation of nurses for the NHS.

“Nurses now require a high level of technical competence, clinical knowledge and decision-making skills in addition to their more traditional caring role. By qualifying to degree level, our graduate nurses will have the range of skills they need to deal with the challenges of modern nursing.”

In November 2009, the government said that by 2013 anyone wanting to be a nurse would have to complete a degree in a bid to boost patient care standards

Southampton University is two years ahead of that timetable, with its first BSc products of the degree-only courses set to graduate in 2014. It has trained nurses to degree level for over 20 years, with South Central Health Authority commissioning each course place.

The course content for degree-level nurses was also shown to members of the public, students and university staff so that the potential views of patients and family members could be taken into account.

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