‘Nurse First’ – A Fast-Track Scheme For All Graduates
A new fast- track scheme has been designed for graduates to allow those studying subjects other than nursing to enter the profession.
‘Nurse First’ is one of a range of initiatives as part of a new plan by NHS England that aims to try and boost nursing numbers.
The statement announcing the Nurse First scheme, suggested that the first fast-track trainees would start their course in September, with the view to address workforce capacity and support the development of future nurses – in areas such as mental health and learning disabilities.
The course will include educational training as well as real life, hands on training as part of the NHS. Following on from this, high achievers will then be given the opportunity to enter into a further development scheme, that will fast track their careers to leadership positions within 5 to 7 years.
Initially, the scheme is being piloted in three key areas across the UK that are struggling to recruit and retain staff. Health Education England are also looking out for universities who run similar existing postgraduate programmes to take part in the scheme.
Professor Jane Cummings who announced the new scheme said “As a profession, nursing has always greatly benefited from the varied backgrounds and life experience of its staff. It’s vital we continue to attract the best and brightest graduates, offering additional entry routes and career opportunities, so that we can continue to deliver specialist, high quality care to all.”
Clair Murdoch, NHS England’s national director for mental health, said: “As a registered mental health nurse myself, I am delighted to see that the Nurse First programme will provide more specialist mental health and learning disability nurses.”
The Royal College of Nursing also said that it welcomed the initiative.