New nursing school in Sunderland will help meet national shortages

Students at the new Sunderland School of Nursing.
Students at the new Sunderland School of Nursing.
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Health and education have joined forces on Wearside to launch a new school of nursing.

Senior health partners joined the University of Sunderland to launch the School of Nursing, aimed at helping to fill the national shortage of NHS nurses.

The new School of Nursing at Sunderland University.

The new School of Nursing at Sunderland University.

The new school will be housed within the university’s Sciences Complex and will offer a three-year BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing Practice degree programme.

Shirley Atkinson, University of Sunderland vice-chancellor, said: “These bespoke courses are part of the university’s wider regional health strategy, to deliver real solutions to healthcare issues through research, innovation in new technologies and facilities to improve the health and wellbeing of patients, keeping them fit, active and independent.”

Sunderland CARE Academy partners have collaborated to develop the programme, designed in response to Sir Robert Francis’s report into the scandal at Stafford Hospital, which recommends the need for “rigorous nursing quality assurance”, citing a shortage of nurses as a key factor in poor care of patients.

CARE Academy partners include City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust, Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, Sunderland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and the Patient and Carer Involvement (PCPI) members.

This is a massive development for healthcare in the North East

Melanie Johnson

Melanie Johnson, executive director of nursing and quality at City Hospitals Sunderland, said: “This is a very significant development for healthcare in the North East and we are delighted to be part of it.

“We have worked closely with the university to help develop the course and students will benefit from local clinical placement opportunities.”

Professor John MacIntyre, pro vice-chancellor, and dean of the faculty of applied sciences, said: “This is a major milestone in the University’s strategic development, investment in facilities and provision for patient-centred healthcare in our city and to the wider region.

“Sunderland has been providing health education for decades. The launch of our School of Nursing is borne out of that reputation and will respond to local and national qualified staff shortages in the health sector, as well as providing a great educational pathway for those going into such an important profession. We are incredibly proud to be working in partnership with our key healthcare providers as part of the CARE Academy.”