A new degree designed to prepare the nursing generation of tomorrow is launching today at the University of Sunderland.

The new Blended Learning Nursing Degree Programme offers an innovative and flexible approach for those hoping to join the profession.

Last year, Sunderland was named as one of seven universities trail-blazing the programme for Health Education England (HEE).

The innovative programme, which is recruiting now and will start from May 2021, is designed to create a significantly different offer in nursing education that will establish a professional nurse workforce suited to the demands of care and service now and in the future.

Simone Bedford, Team Leader – Professional Health Care Practice and Midwifery, said: “We are very excited about our new Blended Learning Adult Nursing programme.

“It has been developed with flexibility in mind in order to support those who may have to continue to work and / or have caring / parenting responsibilities. There is a full and part time route available with placements across the region.”

It is hoped the flexibility of the course will appeal to students of all ages who may not have previously felt able to commit to a face-to-face, campus-based programme.

The importance of the nursing profession has been highlighted by the pandemic during the past 12 months and the University is continuing to play a leading role in providing the regional and UK workforce with the best trained nurses and healthcare professionals.

As set out in the NHS Long Term Plan to help grow the nursing workforce in the UK, this innovative approach to learning maximises the opportunities to provide a fully interactive and innovative programme through a digital approach.

Sue Brent, Head of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences, said: “We are delighted to be one of only seven partner organisations delivering this innovative approach, which is designed to help grow the nursing workforce, as set out in NHS Long Term Plan, and look forward to welcome our first students in May.

Dr Navina Evans, Chief Executive, HEE, said: “There is a whole cohort of people who would make excellent nurses but, for a range of reasons, cannot access the traditional nursing courses available.

“What Health Education England and the seven trailblazing universities are doing is identifying those people and giving them the opportunity to study in a more accessible way, whilst continuing to meet the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s standards.

“By doing so, we will open up the profession for more people to become great nurses of the future, whilst giving their employing trusts and the NHS a digital-ready workforce.”