Twelve new student nurses are to commence their nursing degree with the School of Health Studies in conjunction with St George’s, University of London and Kingston University London.

The School of Health Studies provides the BSc (Hons) Nursing degree. Students who will be undertaking the three year full time degree will be taught and assessed in Gibraltar.

Lecturer Mrs Noleen Jones says: ‘Prior to being admitted on the course students have to meet stringent admissions criteria. They have to undergo a range of selection processes in order to demonstrate that they have the right attitude and aptitude to be successful in this demanding and challenging course of study. Our key concern is the safety of patients as well as providing a course that is fit for purpose.'

Head of the School of Health Studies, Professor Ian Peate, said: ‘The School of Health Studies has a proven record of producing high quality, competent and confident practitioners. We work very closely with our clinical colleagues ensuing that students are provided with support to complete the course and to gain as much experience as possible in all fields of nursing.’

Principal of the School of Health Studies, Dr Ron Coram, welcomed the new student body and said: ‘This is a challenging and demanding Degree from a number of perspectives; it is emotionally, intellectually and physically taxing. The School of Health Studies are here to provide students with the support that they need to be successful in their academic endeavours.’

After commencing the course students will spend, over the three year period, 50% of their time in clinical practice working with clinicians and caring for people, with the remainder of the 50% of the course allocated to theoretical learning where they will be able to learn the theory and apply it to practice. Students are assessed and tested in a number of areas on a continual basis. Assessment in theory and practice considers knowledge, skills and attitudes, ensuring that as the student progresses throughout the course they are meeting the required standards. If successful over the three year period, students can apply for entry on to the professional register.

The Degree provides students with the specialist knowledge and hands-on clinical skills that are required to become a registered adult nurse with the Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visitors Registration Board Gibraltar and to make a positive difference to people's lives. Learning takes place on a wide range of health and care environments, including hospital wards and community settings. Staff from the School of Health Studies and clinicians will help to guide students as they hone their skills in safe and supportive surroundings. Examples of placements include: medical and surgical wards; critical care, accident and emergency, operating theatres; district nursing, health visiting, the Primary Care Centre, maternity, learning disability and children’s nursing.

The Minister for Health, Care and Justice, the Hon. Neil F. Costa MP, said: ‘I am very pleased to welcome the new students to this three year degree programme; our students today will become our staff nurses of tomorrow. The programme focuses on academic learning in collaboration with other health and social care professionals, in order to enhance inter-professional and team working to ensure that the patient is central to all that is done. The Government is steadfast in its continuing commitment to invest in locally-educated student nurses. This is the fourth nursing degree to be offered in Gibraltar and we are extremely proud of the quality of the student experience in the classroom and in the clinical areas. I wish the new students much success as they begin the first day of the rest of their professional careers.’