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Student nurses in West Norfolk close to positions within the NHS

The latest cohort of third-year student nurses in West Norfolk is close to becoming qualified and being offered positions within the NHS.

The training, which is undertaken through a partnership between Lynn’s hospital trust and University of East Anglia (UEA), intakes some 200 students on the degree-level course every September.

While the majority of learners are in their early 20s, it is not uncommon for students in their 30s or 40s to gain a route on to the course through A-Levels or an equivalent qualification.

QEH practice development nurse Julia Saunders with student nurses (2369809)
QEH practice development nurse Julia Saunders with student nurses (2369809)

Practice development nurse Julia Saunders, who is one of Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) staff members supporting student nurses’ training, says mature students have the benefit of “life experience, resilience and maturity”.

She says the latest cohort of third-year students have been “very motivated and committed” and she is looking forward to welcoming many of them to the hospital in September.

Ms Saunders said: “A number are going to come and work here and also the surrounding areas.”

A total of 48 students, including three who have completed a four-year Open University course and four who did work-based learning, will be part of “sign-off summer” at the QEH.

Caitlin O’Donnell, 21, from Fakenham, has juggled the demands of training with being a mum to a six-year-old daughter.

She said: “I grew up knowing I wanted to be a nurse. Having my daughter gave me lots of motivation to do something I would enjoy and that would be a lifelong career.”

Caitlin has completed six placements at the QEH and says she has always found it to be a “very friendly” hospital.

She hopes to be able to take up a position there in September.

Johanna Naismith, 22, from Warboys, in Cambridgeshire, who has completed two 12-week placements at the QEH, is now working towards a career in nursing after having a spell as a healthcare assistant.

She said: “I really enjoyed it but wanted more from it. I decided to go to UEA as it had such a good reputation.

“I’ve liked that I’ve had experience with such a wide variety, including a mental health placement.”

For more information about the QEH, visit www.qehkl.nhs.uk.

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