By: 20 December 2022
Aston University launches degree in nursing starting in 2023

Aston University has launched a degree in nursing with its first intake starting its three-year course in September 2023.

Approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), the Nursing Studies BSc (Hons) will specialise in nursing adults with a focus on community nursing, with work placements offered in hospital and community settings to best reflect where the NHS most urgently needs nurses.

According to NHS Digital there are around 47,000 UK vacancies,that is a vacancy rate of 11.8% and in the Midlands region, in the first quarter of 2022 there were 9,336 nursing vacancies – making the West Midlands a hot spot for vacancies.

The University is now taking applications for its first cohort of up to 40 students who will be based in Aston Medical School. They will be due to graduate in 2026, eligible to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council as a Registered Nurse (Adult).

Professor Anthony Hilton, pro-vice-chancellor and executive dean of the College of Health and Life Sciences, said: “I am delighted we now offer Nursing Studies which comes at a time when we are seeing a national shortage of nurses in the NHS and more locally in Birmingham we are seeing a significant gap in nurses trained in adult and community care settings. Nursing will be co-located within Aston Medical School to provide opportunity for truly interprofessional learning with our medical, pharmacy and wider groups of healthcare students.

“We are excited to work with our local NHS Trusts to offer clinical practice education, in combination with our new state of the art health simulation facilities. We look forward to launching in 2023 and developing high quality nursing graduates to support the NHS workforce of the future.”

Students will spend 50% of their time on work placements at various local hospital trusts including Sandwell and West Birmingham (with its new hospital opening in 2024), The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, University Hospitals Birmingham – this includes The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Solihull Hospital, Birmingham Heartlands and Good Hope Hospital, as well as Birmingham Community Healthcare Trust. There will also be opportunities for placements within various nursing homes, hospices and GP practices.

There are significant opportunities for interprofessional learning with other healthcare students – because the nursing cohort will study some taught sessions alongside students in Aston Medical School, Pharmacy, Optometry and Audiology. New state-of-the-art healthcare simulation facilities will be used to support practical and clinical skills training. The simulation suite includes two hospital wards, a residential flat, an immersive room and high-fidelity mannequins.

Jayne Murphy, programme lead adult nursing,Aston University: “Nursing is dynamic and challenging and requires a huge skill-set from specialist clinical skills to essential skills of communication, problem-solving and professionalism.”

“There is no better time to start a career in nursing. The opportunities post-qualifying are endless and our students will have the potential to make a significant difference to people’s lives when they are often at their most vulnerable.”

“Our nursing students will work with some truly inspirational people who will support them to be the best nurse they can be. The small cohort sizes at Aston University mean they will have a personalised experience in a supportive environment to help our students flourish during their studies and in their first post as a registered nurse.”

Dr Alexander Rhys, NMC Assistant Director of Professional Practice, said: “Congratulations to Aston University which has become one of the latest education institutions approved against our standards to deliver a pre-registration nursing programme. It’s vital that nursing and midwifery students receive the high-quality education they need to join our register and deliver the safe, effective and kind of care that people have the right to expect. We look forward to supporting Aston University as it educates the nurses of the future”.

They are now taking applications for BA (Hons) Nursing Studies (Registered Nurse Adult Nursing) starting in September 2023. To find out more about the course or how to apply,please visit the course pages on our university website. Deadline for applications is 25 January 2023.