Health Minister Robin Swann today met with nursing and midwifery students when he visited the Medical Biology Centre at Queen’s University, Belfast.
The Minister visited the Faculty of Medicine’s new Health and Life Sciences KN Cheung SK Chin InterSim Centre it presents a unique opportunity to showcase the innovative simulation training facilities and provides leadership in nursing and midwifery as well as adding value to the student experience through interdisciplinary simulation provision.
The Minister was given a tour of the new centre, where he met and chatted with some of the nursing, midwifery and medical students.
He said: “As Health Minister, I have taken a proactive approach to investing in the nursing and midwifery workforce of the future. During my tenure, I have overseen an increase in the number of pre-registration nursing and midwifery university places commissioned to a record level of 1,325 places in the 2021/2022 academic year.
“I am impressed to see the significant investment in the workforce of the future on the part of Queen’s University represented by these state of the art facilities.
Chief Nursing Officer Maria McIlgorm said: “It has been great to meet some of our future workforce and I recognise that many of you commenced pre-registration training during the pandemic and that this will have impacted on both your studies and clinical placements. You have risen to the challenge admirably and for that I am so proud of you all and wish you every success in your future careers in our health service.
“As students, this new simulation centre will provide you with the opportunity to develop and enhance your clinical skills in order to deliver high-quality, patient-centred care through interdisciplinary simulation training.
“This centre also enables university staff to pass on their wealth of knowledge and experience to the next generation of nurses and midwives.”
Concluding the tour of the centre the Minister said: “I very much appreciated the demonstrations of how the centre will work in practice. And I am deeply impressed by the collective efforts of the local universities, HSC employers and the students, to maintain excellent education and training standards during this uniquely challenging time. I am also deeply grateful to the many student nurses and midwives who, like their registrant colleagues, have stepped up to the plate to meet the challenges we face in a positive, creative and solution-focused manner.
“As Health Minister, I am extremely proud that we have such dedicated and talented student nurses and midwives.
“Once again, thank you for inviting me today and taking the time to showcase the incredible work and facilities that you have developed to train our workforce of tomorrow. I wish you every success in your future careers.”
Minister Swann thanked Professor Fitzsimons and Professor Morrison for their invitation to visit these innovative simulation training facilities and to meet with students.
Professor Fitzsimons, Head of School said: “The School of Nursing & Midwifery in QUB are delighted to have educated the majority of these additional students across the four fields of Adult, Children’s, Learning Disability and Mental Health Nursing. We have also sought to add value to the workforce by introducing the Graduate Entry MSc programme in pre-registration nursing – broadening participation to those students who have a degree already. They have the opportunity to gain their registration as a qualified nurse or midwife and a Master’s level degree within two years. This is the first programme of its kind on the island of Ireland and will bring a new skill set into the health service.”
Professor Morrison, Dean of Education in FMHLS, added: “Our students have a unique opportunity to learn the complexities of clinical care shoulder to shoulder with students from Medicine, Pharmacy and Social Work in these state of the art simulation facilities in QUB. Our new registrants will be equipped with the knowledge, behaviours and confidence to work effectively as a team and tackle the complexities of modern healthcare – providing care that puts the patient at the centre of safety and decision-making.”