Healthcare Support Workers are first Open University students to become qualified nurses

By Lucy Ashton

Two NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde nurses are the first Healthcare Support Workers (HCSW) from the board to complete the Open University Pre-registration Nursing programme.

The programme provides a pathway for HCSW to become registered nurses through online learning and assessments as well as practical placements.

Sandra Darwish, left,  and Robert Stuart both qualified as nurses and have already started their roles in both the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital and Glasgow Royal Infirmary.

Sandra, who works in the Elective Surgery ward at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary, shared her appreciation for the course: “I can’t recommend the Open University Course for HCSW’s enough and I would encourage anyone who is considering applying to go for it.

“Other health boards had offered the Open University Course in the past and I was delighted when I found out NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde were going to be offering it to HCSW.

“The role is different from being a HCSW but everyone across the health board has been extremely supportive and the staff are amazing.”

The course is completed over four years whilst still undertaking a full time role as a HCSW professional.

Balancing studies as well as a full time job required a lot of hard work and Sandra encourages anyone who may be on the fence about applying for the course to not think twice.

She added: “I think you do need to be fully committed to the course as it can be difficult balancing both studies and placement alongside a full time job. There definitely isn’t as many days off but you get used to that for the duration of the course.

“However, the benefit definitely outweighs any stressful days. The time will pass whether you do it or don’t do it.

“So if you are considering applying, please do. There is nothing to be lost and everything to be gained.”

David Lamont, Lead Nurse for Practice Education at NHSGGC, said: “This programme is a great opportunity for HCSW’s that want to take the next step in their career.

“The opportunities are endless after completing the degree and obtaining Nursing and Midwifery Council registration and we would encourage anyone who is considering applying to submit an application.

“The next round of intakes commences on 6 February, 2023 and we hope to see the same levels of interest as we have in the last year.

“If you have any hesitations or are unsure about what the course entails, please log on to our website.

“We also have application awareness sessions via Microsoft Teams taking place on Monday, 19 December and Thursday, 19 January, where you can find out additional information on course eligibility and further details.”

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