Thirty of Livewell Southwest’s Trainee Nursing Associates and two of their Assistant Practitioners enjoyed a day of celebration at South Devon College last Friday to mark their graduation.
The ceremony took place at the Riviera International Conference Centre in Torquay, with about 1,200 people cheering on all 269 graduates at the college.
Following two years of training, Nursing Associates will work with Health Care Assistants and Registered Nurses to deliver care to patients. The role is intended to address a skills gap between Health Care Assistants and Registered Nurses, opening a new entry point into a fully registered nursing career.
Assistant Practitioners Katie Stokes and Emma Allcock will go on to work as Band 4s. Their roles will enrich their team’s skill mix and enable them to give more care to the people who use our services.
Dawn Slater, Director of People and Professionalism at Livewell said:
“The graduation of our Nursing Associates and Assistant Practitioners is an exciting development for Livewell. Our students represent a fantastic range of our services, from learning disabilities to community hospitals.
“They have been able to demonstrate how their role fits within existing services to provide a competent and knowledgeable workforce for the future.
“I am incredibly proud of their achievements and I congratulate them of behalf of Livewell and the health workforce.
“A big thanks to Helen Sykes, Undergraduate and Preceptorship Lead, Tracy Jones, Placement and Development Facilitator, and Gill Miller, Organisational Development Lead, for their incredible support.”
Tracy Jones said:
“This graduation ceremony was the opportunity to celebrate all the hard work, courage and resilience shown by each individual student. It was amazing to be a part of their journey and to help support them along the sometimes bumpy road. They have each grown and developed into exceptional health care professionals who will deliver high quality care to the people Livewell supports.”
Tara Mills, Nursing Associate within health visiting, said:
“A huge thank you to Livewell for believing in me, and supporting me through the Nursing Associate course. These past two years have been a time of growth in which I have learnt valuable experiences in clinical practice, resilience and new academic skills to carry forward for the future.”
Incredibly, six Nursing Associates from Cohort 1 have become scholarship students and are in their final year of their nursing degree. Another six students from Cohort 2 will be starting their degree in December.
Tracy Woodham, scholarship student at Livewell, said:
“I completed the Trainee Nursing Associate programme in December 2018 and went on to study Adult Nursing Honours BSc at Plymouth University. The degree course has been challenging and Livewell has been supportive and encouraging. My life has completely changed over the past two years and each day opens a window of opportunities for me.”