Work Based Learning degree students first to become registered nurses
03 August 2017
Three healthcare assistants (HCAs) are the first at Southend University Hospital to achieve their NMC registration by completing the Work Based Learning (WBL) Degree supported by the hospital.
Karen Gill from Day Surgery Ward, Clare Kortland from Hockley
Ward and Michaela Freeman from Accident Centre juggled being
University of Essex students whilst working as HCAs.
Clare said: "The amount of support from our tutor, Iain Keenan,
was amazing. He was always available to give support and advice
when needed.I remember emailing him as late as 9pm and he would
reply. You just cannot beat that kind of support."
Karen said: "I've gained valuable experience through the WBL
programme, which gave me additional knowledge, having worked within
the Trust for the past 11 years. I also had a fabulously helpful
mentor and support from my ward management throughout."
To be considered for the WBL degree, participants need to have
completed the Associate Practitioner Foundation Degree. Once
passed, students are eligible for the 20-month WBL programme
to become a Registered Nurse.
Michaela said: "I found this degree filled in the gaps in my
learning and obviously I then had a better understanding for my
"Don't let going back to university stop you. I am a mature
student and if I can do it so can you; this is your chance to
become to Registered Nurse."
Over twenty others have started on the same journey as Clare,
Karen and Michaela. Laura Gibbons, Practice Development Nurse,
said: "These nurses worked extremely hard throughout the course and
showed dedication and commitment to achieve their nursing
"We have additional cohorts undertaking this course and believe
this will give them the incentive and encouragement to consider
this route into nursing. It benefits the individuals, the teams
they work for and the patients they care for."
Image l-r:Denise Townsend - Director of
Nursing, Karen Gill, Cheryl Schwarz - Deputy Director of Nursing,
Clare Kortland and Laura Gibbons - Practice Development Nurse