Published on 10 July 2019
After three years of dedicated training and hard work, the 17 nurses stepped onto the stage to collect their degrees before they all begin their careers in the NHS.
The University launched itsBSc (Hons) Adult Nursing PracticeProgramme in 2016in collaboration withSouth Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, aimed at encouraging more local recruits to enter the profession, later expanding the number of health partners to include County Durham and Darlington Foundation Trust; North Tees and Hartlepool Foundation Trust; and Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals Foundation Trust.
The students have spent half of their time on placement in a hospital or healthcare setting with their host Health Trust – applying their class-based learning. They have also benefited from the teaching and facilities while on campus. This includes the pioneering Living lab, complete with mock hospital ward and high-tech simulation equipment – mapping the patient journey from home to pharmacy, GP practice to hospital and back again.
As well as receiving accreditation from the Nursing and Midwifery Council, the School of Nursing has also pick up a hosts of awards in just two years of its launch, at the prestigious Nursing Times Award, including being named Post-Registration Education Provider of the Year.
Simone Bedford, Team Leader for Adult Nursing at the University of Sunderland, said: “We’re absolutely delighted and very proud to see our first intake of home-grown nurses graduate today.
“They have worked incredibly hard to reach this stage and embraced all the opportunities presented to them throughout our course, they thoroughly deserve every success. All have achieved their ambition to improve the health and wellbeing of people’s lives and will begin working in various roles across the NHS in our region.”
During the graduation ceremony prizes were also presented to two students who have demonstrated outstanding qualities throughout their course. Lois Price, picked up the award for Most Academic Student, while Kettie Seymour, was selected for most Successful Student Journey.
Lois Price, 24, from Sunderland, said: "I've always wanted to be a nurse frrom an early age and have always been a caring person, so to have the School of Nursing on my doorstep couldn't have worked out better.
"I threw myself into this course and was so passionate about the subjects and the tutors have been a constant support throughout, so to be nominated for this award is a huge honour and I was shocked and overwhelmed."
Lois is now beginning her work as a community nurse in Sunderland and South Tyneside.
Mum of two Kettie Queen Seymour, 42, is originally from Malawi and now lives in Durham. She begins her job as a haematology nurse at Sunderland Royal Hospital – though she nearly didn't finish her course.
Kettie explains: "I really struggled in the beginning due to family commitments and the language barrier. I wasn't sure I could get through this, but the tutors supported me through this difficult time and, by the second year, I had started to really enjoy the course.
"I'm so glad I'm standing here today and graduating alongside my classmates. I'm so honoured to have been recognised with this award."
Melanie Johnson, Executive Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professionals South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The key driver behind the development of the programme was to produce locally trained nurses equipped with the skills and knowledge to care for the local population safely and effectively. By linking in with the University of Sunderland in this way, we have been able to boost our nurse recruitment and, hopefully, the newly-registered nurses who choose to join us will stay with us for many years and develop their careers.
“The standard of the nursing students on the programme was exceptionally high. Both mentors and service users remarked upon their caring and compassionate attitude and professional approach. We are fortunate that the vast majority of them chose to join our nursing teams. I’d like to congratulate each and every one of them and wish them good luck in their future career pathway.”
Sue Brent, Head of the Sunderland School of Nursing, added: “We congratulate all of our nurses who are graduating today, we are so proud of all their hard work and effort. I’m sure they will make a huge impact in their new roles and improving the quality of health in our region.
“Thanks must also go to our positive and proactive team, who are genuinely excited and incredibly committed to the work we are doing in our School of Nursing. The team are committed to excellence and delivering highly quality, career-ready graduates with the knowledge and training to make a tangible difference to patient care.
“Our school is growing; we’re developing relationships with new health partnerships and continuing to invest in our faculty’s facilities and programme.”
The seventeen nurses received their BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing Practice degrees at the Stadium of Light, during the summer graduation ceremonies, where thousands of students are graduating this week.