50 newly qualified nurses, midwives, physiotherapists and paramedics have joined the NHS in north Cumbria which is the biggest intake the Trust has had to-date. In addition, new student midwives have also been welcomed to undertake their placements.
Some of the newly qualified staff are local to Cumbria while others have relocated from other parts of the UK such as Scotland, Liverpool and Leeds after being recruited at events which North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust (NCIC) has attended. The staff have been recruited to roles in both acute and community services provided by the Trust.
When joining the organisation, a preceptorship programme is provided which supports newly qualified clinical staff as well as those returning to practice, changing their role or new to the organisation.
Kathleen Conway, lead clinical educator for preceptorship at the Trust, explained:
“We believe that a robust preceptorship programme is essential for a safe and supportive transition to a new clinical role, particularly for newly qualified staff. Our 12 month programme allows staff to develop their skills, knowledge and experience safely which in turn builds their confidence.”
The programme includes:
· A named preceptor – a person who will act as the staff member’s mentor and support them throughout the programme
· Review meetings to discuss progress
· An education programme which develops clinical skills and builds resilience
· A personal development plan
Another programme of support the Trust has developed for newly qualifying nurses is the Transition Programme which is a five day clinical skills course as well as encouraging any pre-qualifying nurses to work on the bank in the area in which their permanent roles are to help ease them into their new work area and build up their confidence and competencies. This has been evaluated positively by ward staff and newly qualifying nurses.
Gill Long, head of nursing for clinical education, said:
“We were delighted to welcome so many newly qualified staff to the Trust in recent weeks. We are working hard to build up our workforce for the future and we hope that by providing these programmes of support we can help our new staff settle into both the Trust and their career.”
Elsa Ferreira, staff nurse, originally from Portugal joined the Trust in February to complete further training in nursing. Elsa said:
“When I graduated from university, I needed further qualifications to become a qualified nurse in England so I started working as a healthcare assistant. This allowed me to practice my clinical skills and also gave me time to adapt and gain confidence in the role.
“Following this, I had the opportunity to complete the preceptorship programme that is offered to newly qualified nurses. This included a one week induction with some lectures about nursing which really helped me understand any cultural differences between nursing practice in Portugal and in England.
“Kathleen has been great and has given me a huge amount of support at the beginning of my new life in England and I know I can contact her anytime if I need support regarding my work.
“I am now working on Beech B ward at Cumberland Infirmary where I have been made to feel very welcome by all the staff. I have received a lot of help from the ward regarding my transition and I want to give a big thanks to them as I consider them now part of my family.”
In addition to the newly qualified staff, the Trust also recently welcomed 13 new student midwives who will begin their placements across community and acute midwifery services. Jane Anderson, head of midwifery, welcomed the students on their first day. Jane said: “I am delighted to welcome our new student midwives to the Trust. I’m sure that as they begin their placements our teams across the county will welcome them and make sure that they have the very best experience here. I’m very proud that our Trust can help support the next generation and I hope that some will consider remaining with us after they graduate.”