University to help tackle shortage of region’s nurses

Wed 26 August, 2020
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With a shortfall of qualified nursing staff at hospitals across Beds, Herts and Bucks, the University of Bedfordshire has announced it can still accept plenty of budding healthcare students for the upcoming September term.

Statistics unveiled by UCAS this week show that over 15,000 medical and health applicants are still without a confirmed university place. With over 9,000 of these unplaced applicants hoping to study healthcare practise courses which are offered by the University, Bedfordshire’s Clearing team is keen to hear from them to discuss the many options that are available.

“Because we have courses based across three different campuses – each with their own NHS Trust placements – we are proud to offer a variety of healthcare courses, and presently we’re still able to accept around 100 new Adult Nursing students for the 2020/21 term,” says Dr Louise Grant, Executive Dean of Health & Social Sciences.

“During the Covid19 pandemic we were delighted to open our new Mary Seacole Building and training facility at our Aylesbury campus, which proved an asset for staff and trainee nurses at Stoke Mandeville Hospital.

“With brand new facilities like this and a cohort of passionate staff and peers, now is the perfect time for aspiring nurses, midwives, operating department practitioners and occupational therapists and physiotherapists to reach out to us and discuss their study options with the University of Bedfordshire.”

Natasja Collins is an Adult Nursing student who is about to start her third year at the University. During lockdown she’s continued her placement with Luton & Dunstable University Hospital and also signed up to the hospital’s deployment scheme, which meant she was offered paid shifts to allow her to continue learning on the job as part of her studies.

Natasja encourages applicants to talk to the university about the different options and courses available to them: “I had originally wanted to study Midwifery but after seeing the University of Bedfordshire’s facilities and speaking to current students and lecturers, I decided to change my route and applied for Adult Nursing instead. I felt this course change could open more doors for me, as I hope to one day specialise in Gynaecology and sexual health.”

Natasja continued, “I’m so happy with my choice to study at Beds – I’ve made some great friends in my chosen career path already, and I have learnt so much from my tutors and on placement. I’d highly recommend any students who are currently considering a healthcare career to give the University a call as one of their courses could push them in the right direction.”

In the wake of the UK’s revised BTec results being issued to anticipating pupils from 25th August, universities across the UK have continued to adapt their offer-making policies to ensure prospective students feel reassured.

Bob Cozens, Director of Admissions and Student Recruitment, said:

At the University of Bedfordshire, we have a proud history of widening access to higher education and supporting students to achieve their potential. Healthcare practise is an important area for our cohort and we have a variety of NHS-based courses which will open doors for applicants across the health sector, from Operating Departmental Practise to Adult Nursing, to Paramedic Science and Midwifery.

Commenting on the uncertainties faced by young people in light of the pandemic, he continued: “We understand that students may be nervous about coming to university following the pandemic, so our Student Support and Clearing teams will be on hand to reassure them about the Covid-secure measures we have implemented across our campuses and accommodation.”

The UK’s teenage population has faced unfairness and uncertainty following the A Level and BTec results controversy. This has left many university hopefuls confused as to what their options are, with professional advice being to talk to their teachers, tutors, parents and university support teams.

Bob Cozens added: “For those applicants who have felt unfairly impacted by the way A Level and BTec results have been handled this month, rest assured we will consider all aspects of your application including wider experience when evaluating your potential to succeed.

“For any aspiring nurses who did not quite reach the grades they required to study a traditional nursing course, the University of Bedfordshire is also offering a new and innovative two year foundation degree which results in registration as a Nursing Associate.

“Whatever may be on your mind, please reach out to us for an informal chat – we’re here to help.”

The University of Bedfordshire’s Clearing line is still open 7 days a week. The Admissions team can be reached on 0300 3300 703 or via the online Live Chat function.

Prospective students can also apply directly by submitting an online application form and further information can be found on the University’s dedicated Clearing page: www.beds.ac.uk/clearing

Get in touch to discuss your options today!

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