Posted: Tue 9th Jul 2024

The Open University in Wales to train new nurses with flexible degree scheme for people living in or visiting the Wrexham area

The Open University in Wales has been appointed by Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW) to train new student nurses.

The OU’s nursing degree scheme allows healthcare assistants to study flexibly for a nursing degree while continuing to work in their local hospital or care home.

The course covers all four fields of nursing: adult; mental health; learning disability; and child and young person.

From October 2024, the agreement with HEIW will fund a maximum of 130 nursing places a year.

The initial contract period is for one year, with an option of extending to a further two.

Established in 2018 the OU Wales nursing programme allowing students to learn flexibly alongside their job as part of the distance learning platform.

As part of the course students will learn online through the OU’s award-winning virtual learning environment and interactive tutorials using Adobe Connect.

The programme will have bilingual resources, with Welsh-language and English-language learning groups.

This is alongside a modern curriculum based on the latest healthcare research and academic and practice tutors supporting students throughout their studies and with learning in the workplace.

The course is also supporting underrepresented groups to apply, or to achieve the necessary entry qualifications via a partnership with Cardiff and Vale college.

Dr Linda Walker, Nation Manager for Wales at the OU’s Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies said: “This new agreement with HEIW is a significant milestone for nursing at The Open University Wales.

“One of the things that makes us stand out as a provider is that we train nurses for the whole of Wales. Students study from home and gain practical nursing experience by working in appropriate local healthcare settings.

“This means that they don’t have to relocate to study and can continue to serve their local community.

“We have a great relationship with Wales’ health boards, trusts and local healthcare providers.

“We’ve developed an innovative approach to distance learning, and we put the student at the centre of our teaching – something which brings out the best in them and helps them reach their potential.”

A spokesperson from HEIW added: “We are delighted to work with the Open University to support in maximising opportunities for employed support workers to train to be registered nurses.

“Widening access to healthcare professional education is important to HEIW in our mission to meet the workforce requirements of health and social care in Wales.”

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