Open university in Scotland

Widening access to nursing

Widening access to nursing as a career is a key priority for both NHS Scotland and the Scottish Government. Recognising this, the OU’s nursing provision is designed to work in partnership with NHS Scotland boards to enable healthcare support workers (HCSWs) to develop their careers, regardless of their educational and social background. The part-time, distance-learning model enables students to continue to work and stay locally, benefiting students, employers and communities, especially rural communities. With support from the Scottish Government, the programme will be expanded in 2019-20 and will train more nurses, in more communities, across a greater number of specialisations.

“This unique and innovative programme offers our talented HCSWs an opportunity to remain at home on the island and maintain their employment while embarking on their course of studies.” Sylvia Campbell, Clinical Education Facilitator, NHS Orkney

“I've dreamed of being a nurse since I was a kid. The opportunity was life changing - I was stuck in a rut before I started, I knew that I wanted to do my training but there was no way I could afford to leave my job and carry on enjoying my independence. This way I was able to reach my goals while still working.” Michaela Olver, Registered Staff Nurse, NHS Borders