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The University of Southampton
Health Sciences

Leading the way in nursing degrees: Southampton the first to introduce new all-graduate training

Published: 24 February 2011

The University of Southampton will train all its nursing students to degree standard from September, as the first educator in England to move over to an all-graduate programme according to new UK standards.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council, the UK's nursing and midwifery regulator, has given approval for the move after the University met strict assessment criteria to ensure the nursing degree programme met the highest standards of quality. 
"This is a historic moment for nursing - we have been pressing for this for a very long time. From September we will be preparing a new generation of nurses for the NHS," says Professor Jessica Corner, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences.
"Nurses now require a high level of technical competence, clinical knowledge and decision-making skills in addition to their more traditional caring role. By qualifying to degree level, our graduate nurses will have the range of skills they need to deal with the challenges of modern nursing."
The government announced in November 2009 that by 2013 anyone wishing to become a nurse would need a degree - a measure designed to improve patient care.
The University has been training nurses to degree level for the more than 20 years, with each place commissioned by South Central Health Authority. The University will be introducing degree-only courses two years earlier than the government requirement.  The first students will be awarded their Bachelor of Science degrees in 2014.  
Dr Steve Tee, Associate Director of Education in Health Sciences, comments: "By offering a degree we are giving our students a head start. Compassion and sensitive care are at the heart of the course; graduates will also leave with excellent problem solving, management and communications skills, along with an excellent knowledge of patient care in their chosen specialism."  

The nursing degree course content was also assessed by members of the public, representing the views of patients and their families, as well as University students and staff.
John Defty, student representative at Health Sciences, adds: "It is an exceptional and well-deserved achievement for the University and one that could prove to be pivotal for UK nursing and for students of the future."


Notes for editors

1. For interviews please contact the Media Relations Office.
2.  The University of Southampton is a leading UK teaching and research institution with a global reputation for leading-edge research and scholarship across a wide range of subjects in engineering, science, social sciences, health and humanities.  
With over 22,000 students, around 5000 staff, and an annual turnover well in excess of £400 million, the University of Southampton is acknowledged as one of the country's top institutions for engineering, computer science and medicine. We combine academic excellence with an innovative and entrepreneurial approach to research, supporting a culture that engages and challenges students and staff in their pursuit of learning.
The University is also home to a number of world-leading research centres including the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research, the Optoelectronics Research Centre, the Web Science Research Initiative, the Centre for the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease, the Southampton Statistical Sciences Research Institute and is a partner of the National Oceanography Centre at the Southampton waterfront campus.
For further information contact:
Sophie Docker, Media Relations, University of Southampton, Tel: 023 8059 8933, email:


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