Two nurses have swapped the beaches of Bermuda for the streets of Northampton as they became the first nursing graduates from the island to train in the UK as Mental Health (MH) specialists.
Waleed Lightbourne and Janai Caldwell started their MH degree earlier this month, joining second year MH nursing peers. Both already have a degree in nursing from Bermuda College.
Their education has been made possible thanks to an agreement signed between the University of Northampton, Bermuda College and the Bermuda Hospitals Board.
Northampton is the only HE provider where Bermudian nurses can upskill by completing the MH programme and the agreement will pave the way for two Bermudan students each year to study for the qualification.
Janai Caldwell, MH Nursing Student.
The Bermuda agreement is the latest addition to University of Northampton’s ‘global commitment’ to nursing. This approach, in which the University aims to expand the borders of the nursing curriculum, includes overseas work experience placements for nurses.
Adult Nursing student Danielle Watts worked in an Indian clinic last year and a further group of students will follow her path later this spring.
At present, Bermuda has few MH nurses due to a number of factors that have affected MH provision on the island in general. These include the relative isolation of the island from the mainland, the cost of living and lack of extensive professional networks.
Waleed also scores another first as he is the first ever male nursing graduate from Bermuda.
Francis Beckett, International Nursing Co-ordinator and Senior Lecturer in Mental Health Nursing at the University of Northampton, welcomed his two newest students: “Waleed and Janai have only been with us for a short time and are excellent ambassadors for Bermudian nursing, and a very welcome addition to the nursing community here at Northampton. They have already formed a positive impression with their passion and commitment towards the mental health nursing profession.
“This agreement between University of Northampton and the Bermuda Hospitals Board will help develop the educational model for future generations of locally educated nurses to address the MH needs of Bermudian people and their many visitors.”
Waleed added: “This is a wonderful opportunity. Studying under passionate lecturers has left me with a great outlook for what I can become.
“Being on placement at a hospital quite so soon is something new, however I am up for the challenge as resources are in place for student success with the University of Northampton and at St. Andrew’s. Northampton is a lovely place and I look forward to experiencing what it has to offer. Right now I have a lot of school work to focus on!”
Janai concluded by saying: “I am really enjoying my time here. When Francis visited Bermuda last year he spoke about the range of support offered when he and he mentioned the range of support offered to new students by the University, so it was great to see this right from when I arrived here. I am so grateful to have been afforded this once in a lifetime opportunity.
“I like the fact that I am able to jump right into the clinical setting. Currently, I am working within Child and Adult Mental Health Services. I have been here for about a month now. I have never had the opportunity to really work with youth in mental health services and have learned so much in my short time there. I am excited to see what the future holds for me.”
Find out more about the MH Nursing course at the University of Northampton.