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Our students set the news agenda on International Nurses’ Day

Date 15.05.2017

Nursing students from the University of Northampton hit the national and local news headlines when they were interviewed for their thoughts on the National Health Service (NHS).

Our undergraduates appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Look East television news, BBC Sunday Politics television show and BBC Radio Northampton between Thursday 11 and Monday 15 May.

When quizzed by reporters about the state of the NHS, the students pointed out it requires much more support, but despite the challenges nursing staff face, they would never consider a different career.

Final-year student Emily Lambert said: “Like all of my friends on the course, I have always wanted to go into the caring profession. Caring for people is my passion, and nothing will stop me doing that.”

Listen to our student nurses on BBC Radio 5 Live (starts 50mins)

Listen to our student nurses on BBC Radio Northampton (starts 1hr 7m)

Watch our student nurses on BBC Sunday Politics (starts 42mins)

The University, which was founded in 2005, will see its 1,000th nursing student graduate this year, although the institution enjoys strong historical links with the profession. In 1997, Sir Gordon Roberts College of Nursing and Midwifery was incorporated into Nene College, which became University College Northampton in 1999, and the University of Northampton six years later.

Senior Adult Nursing Lecturer, Cindy O’Dell, has taught at the University since 2003 and identifies with the passion the current crop of students has for nursing.

She said: “Before I moved into teaching, I spent 28 years working in in clinical practice as a student and then as a qualified nurse and I have a huge sense of pride about my time as a nurse.

“To me, it’s the best job in the world. It’s a fast-paced, diverse career, where you work with lots of different people and have a real sense of belonging, where you need to keep cool under pressure and have a good sense of humour.

“There were countless times when I would be stopped in the street by people I had cared for who just wanted to thank me. It’s the most amazing feeling, incredibly humbling and the feeling it gives you is actually quite hard to put into words.”

Nursing students and staff got together at Park Campus on Friday to celebrate International Nurses’ Day,  which highlights the hard work and dedication of all those involved in the nursing profession.

Guest speaker at the event was Chief Executive of the Cavell Nurses’ Trust, John Orchard, who explained how the charity assists nurses facing hardship.

He told the audience: “Everybody will have a story about how a nurse or a midwife helped them. The public love you, and you should be very proud of that.”

Those wishing to work as a nurse must have a degree in one of the four nursing specialisms: adult, children, mental health, or learning disability. The University offers degrees in each of the four specialisms.

Four years ago, to meet the high demand for nurses, it introduced a second starting point in the year for those wishing to study Adult Nursing or Mental Health Nursing – students can now choose to start their studies in March or October.

In 2014, the University opened the UK’s first Competence Test Centre, where nurses and midwives who complete their training outside of Europe undertake a practical clinical assessment before becoming eligible to join the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s register. The centre plays a role in ensuring that internationally-educated nurses and midwives’ skills are up to vigorous UK standards, and between 2014 and March 2017, more than 3,000 nurses have taken a test in Northampton.