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13 July, 2021

Nursing degrees to be delivered in Taunton at University Centre Somerset!

Bridgwater & Taunton College (BTC) has been recommended for approval by the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) to deliver a Nursing Degree & Nursing Degree Apprenticeships across Adult Nursing and Mental Health pathways. The NMC has also recommended the approval of the Trainee Nurse Associate programme. All the programmes are validated by University of the West of England (UWE) with the apprenticeships due to start this year.

These degree pathways enhance the degree provision at University Centre Somerset and have been developed in direct response to Somerset’s skills gaps in nursing.

Louise Rowley, Vice Principal BTC said,

“This is groundbreaking, we are the first college in the country to be recommended to deliver Nursing Degrees and Nursing Apprenticeships. This has been some time in development and I am delighted to be able to share the news. She continued “The shortage of nursing skills in Somerset has long been recognised, in collaboration with health and social care employers across Somerset and UWE we aim to develop and build programmes to fill skills shortages, these degree programmes are the first step in turning the vision into a reality.”

Local MP Rebecca Pow visited the College on Friday 9 July to meet with those involved in the project and for a tour of the new Clinical Skills and Simulation Centre, she commented,

“This is a really important step for Somerset. Education has the power to transform lives and the collaboration between the College, the NHS and UWE represents an excellent opportunity for our community. These programmes unlock career pathways for students, which in turn, will benefit local people through the provision of highly qualified health care professionals and excellent career pathways which will enable people to have long and rewarding careers locally."

Andy Berry, Principal and CEO said,

“BTC is an exceptionally successful provider of education, with a long heritage of developing partnerships with employers to meet their skills needs. This collaboration is an exemplar of partnerships in action, the resulting degree pathways will benefit our students and local community. I could not be prouder and congratulate all those involved.”

Ethna Bashford, Director of Patient Care – Professional Practice and Standards at Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“We are absolutely delighted with this news, which is a real landmark moment to provide nurse training locally in Somerset.

“We are confident that the provision of local degree courses will encourage so many more people in Somerset to consider a career in nursing, which will be of huge benefit to the county’s health and social care organisations, by helping us to address our nursing vacancies and having our own local supply of registered nurses.

“Young people will not have to leave Somerset to access nurse training as this local programme will provide great career opportunities in this county for them to access.’

“We see this is just the beginning as this partnership with the University Centre Somerset provides us with an opportunity in the future to potentially train students in other branches of nursing, as well as considering courses to train allied health professionals.”

The first of these exciting opportunities, to become an Adult or Mental Health Nursing Degree Apprentice with the NHS in Somerset, is now open to applications. Prospective students require a minimum of Level 2 functional skills in maths and English, or equivalent, and a suitable Level 3 qualification such as A Levels, BTEC or NVQ. For more information and to submit your application, visit the NHS jobs site here or visit somerset.ac.uk