Pictured above: The 10 successful student nurses celebrate beginning their internships. L-R: Kelly Devine, Anna Clarke, Zoe Teevan, Beverley Tunstall (Clinical Skills Lead Nurse), Emma Randles, Clairen McEntagart (MCFT lead for the project), Niamh Richards, Mel Sherlock, Hannah Simpson, Karen Deane (Practice Education Facilitator), Charlotte Cassidy, Lisa Leather (district nurse), Kim Bridson, Lee Caruthers (Practice Education Facilitator), Lucy Rose, Joanna Lavery (Senior Lecturer and District Nurse Programme Lead at LJMU).
LJMU trainee nurses will be working alongside Mersey Care’s district and community nurses over the next year as part of a new internship scheme aimed at supporting direct career pathways into the community health sector.
Ten undergraduate Adult Nursing students from LJMU’s School of Nursing and Allied Health, in their final year of study, will form the first cohort of students to take up posts across Liverpool, Knowsley and Sefton with the Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust.
They will gain experience in first contact care, palliative and specialist care delivery and long-term conditions management during 20-weeks of practical placements alongside district nursing teams and specialist integrated community nursing teams.
'Practice with confidence directly upon qualification'
Dr Nicola Morrell-Scott, Programme Lead for Undergraduate Nursing and Associate Dean of Education, said: “Internships and placements play a vital role in the training of all health care professionals. Through these specific internship opportunities, LJMU Adult Nursing students with a passion for pursuing a future in community nursing, will develop the clinical and interpersonal skills required to work in the field and to practice with confidence directly upon qualification.”
A dedicated team of tutors at LJMU, each with a background in community or district nursing, will provide direct pastoral support to each student on the scheme.
It is hoped that the collaboration will contribute towards the improvement of population health and healthcare across Merseyside, while also supporting better outcomes and access to services.
'Potential career pathways available'
Claire McEntegart, Mersey Care’s lead for the project, said: “It’s no secret many Trusts around the country are finding it difficult to recruit nurses and our partnership with Liverpool John Moores University allows us to provide more specific training.
“We work closely with the students, practice staff and universities to ensure Mersey Care offer a quality learning environment. Through the Community Internship, we strive to work collaboratively with LJMU to offer this exciting opportunity.
“It aims to nurture this cohort, providing a variety of exposures that demonstrate the complexity of nursing in the community environment and also allowing interns to explore the potential career pathways available.”
'Support our communities to stay healthier and live longer'
Dr Morrell-Scott added: “District nursing found its origins in Liverpool and now more than 150 years later a new generation of dedicated nurses, trained by LJMU, are providing high-quality care to communities in and around the city. We hope that this latest partnership between ourselves and Mersey Care will help to foster the right skills, experience and expertise in our student nurses to strengthen the growing workforce, and to support our communities to stay healthier and live longer.”
'Opens up lots of future job opportunities'
Three trainee nurses taking part in the inaugural Community Nursing Internship Programme shared their excitement ahead of beginning their first placements this month.
Lucy said: “Undertaking this internship is a great opportunity for me as I feel very passionate about working within the community setting, it also opens up lots of future job opportunities and helps to raise awareness of the different options available for working outside of the hospital setting.”
Emma said: “I believe this community internship will be the perfect opportunity to gain more experience along with the knowledge and skills needed to practice effectively in my prospective career as a community nurse.”
Kelly said: “This internship will allow me to seek and develop opportunities in community nursing, that will inspire me to achieve my career goals.”
Find out more about studying Adult Nursing at LJMU.