Following an approval event held in March 2020, The Open University’s (OU) new Future Nurse curriculum has been formally approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).
The OU has been delivering qualifying nursing programmes since 2002. Over 2,000 students have become registered nurses with the OU and a further 1,600 students are currently on programme.
In response to new Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) Standards published in 2018, the OU has made significant revisions and updates to its Adult Nursing and Mental Health Nursing curriculum. The approval also sees the OU introduce the fields of Children and Young People Nursing and Learning Disabilities Nursing, extending the nursing degree and apprenticeship offer to cover all four fields of nursing practice.
The new curriculum has been created by a team of academic staff who specialise in their field of nursing practice and written in consultation with employers, students and service users. Delivered in partnership with employers, the OU’s nursing programmes are a unique combination of supported distance learning and practice-based learning within the workplace.
This flexible approach enables the NHS and private and voluntary institutions to train their Healthcare Assistants and Healthcare Support Workers to achieve registered nurse status, while the apprenticeship also allows employers to attract new talent to their organisation. The unique model provides an opportunity for individuals who may not be able to take traditional routes to become a registered nurse, allowing them to earn whilst they learn and gain practical skills in their place of work and on placement.
Julie Messenger, Senior Lecturer (Nursing Lead) at the OU, led the production of the new curriculum.
She said, “With our recent successful NMC approval event, I am really pleased that we will for the first time be offering all four fields of practice. Since 2002, we have demonstrated consistently that we can provide pre-registration nursing programmes via supported open learning that builds personal and professional confidence and competence in students. We are looking forward to working with new and existing employers to offer our new and exciting programme that meets the expectation of the Future Nurse.”
Watch our YouTube video, celebrating International Nurses Day.
Lauren Robinson is part of the Strategic External Engagement Team within the Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies at the OU. Specialising in B2B communications management, she is responsible for employer and partner communications within the Faculty. Lauren has completed her Bachelor of Laws (Hons) with the OU and is currently studying towards her MBA. She is a keen reader and enjoys travel and cooking.
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