University of Bedfordshire to help tackle shortage of region's nurses

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The university's Clearing line is still open seven days a week

With a shortfall of qualified nursing staff at hospitals across Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire, the University of Bedfordshire has announced it can still accept plenty of budding healthcare students for the upcoming term.

Statistics unveiled by UCAS this week show that over 15,000 medical and health applicants are still without a confirmed university place.

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With over 9,000 of these unplaced applicants hoping to study healthcare practise courses which are offered by the university, Bedfordshire’s Clearing team is keen to hear from them to discuss the options that are available.

Midwifery, Adult Nursing and Paramedic Science are some of the healthcare courses on offer at the University of BedfordshireMidwifery, Adult Nursing and Paramedic Science are some of the healthcare courses on offer at the University of Bedfordshire
Midwifery, Adult Nursing and Paramedic Science are some of the healthcare courses on offer at the University of Bedfordshire

Dr Louise Grant, Executive Dean of Health and Social Sciences, said: "Because we have courses based across three different campuses – each with their own NHS Trust placements – we are proud to offer a variety of healthcare courses, and presently we’re still able to accept around 100 new Adult Nursing students for the 2020/21 term.

"During the Covid19 pandemic we were delighted to open our new Mary Seacole Building and training facility at our Aylesbury campus, which proved an asset for staff and trainee nurses at Stoke Mandeville Hospital.

“With brand new facilities like this and a cohort of passionate staff and peers, now is the perfect time for aspiring nurses, midwives, operating department practitioners and occupational therapists and physiotherapists to reach out to us and discuss their study options with the University of Bedfordshire.”

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Natasja Collins is an Adult Nursing student who is about to start her third year at the University.

During lockdown she has continued her placement with Luton and Dunstable University Hospital and also signed up to the hospital’s deployment scheme, which meant she was offered paid shifts to allow her to continue learning on the job as part of her studies.

Natasja encourages applicants to talk to the university about the different options and courses available to them.

She said: “I had originally wanted to study Midwifery but after seeing the University of Bedfordshire’s facilities and speaking to current students and lecturers, I decided to change my route and applied for Adult Nursing instead.

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"I felt this course change could open more doors for me, as I hope to one day specialise in Gynaecology and sexual health.

"I’m so happy with my choice to study at Beds – I’ve made some great friends in my chosen career path already, and I have learnt so much from my tutors and on placement.

"I’d highly recommend any students who are currently considering a healthcare career to give the University a call as one of their courses could push them in the right direction.”

In the wake of the UK’s revised BTEC results being issued to anticipating pupils from August 25, universities across the UK have continued to adapt their offer-making policies to ensure prospective students feel reassured.

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Bob Cozens, director of admissions and student recruitment, said: “At the University of Bedfordshire, we have a proud history of widening access to higher education and supporting students to achieve their potential.

"Healthcare practise is an important area for our cohort and we have a variety of NHS-based courses which will open doors for applicants across the health sector, from Operating Departmental Practise to Adult Nursing, to Paramedic Science and Midwifery.

“We understand that students may be nervous about coming to university following the pandemic, so our Student Support and Clearing teams will be on hand to reassure them about the Covid-secure measures we have implemented across our campuses and accommodation.

“For any aspiring nurses who did not quite reach the grades they required to study a traditional nursing course, the University of Bedfordshire is also offering a new and innovative two year foundation degree which results in registration as a Nursing Associate."

The University of Bedfordshire’s Clearing line is still open 7 days a week. The Admissions team can be reached on 0300 3300 703.

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