St Andrew’s News: ASPIRE programme shortlisted for two awards

March 26, 2018

We’re proud to announce that St Andrew’s Healthcare has been shortlisted for two awards, recognising the support we give to our mental health students via the ASPIRE programme.

The Student Nursing Times Awards 2018 has shortlisted St Andrew’s in two separate categories; ‘Nurse Education Provider of the year (pre-registration)’ and ‘Partnership of the Year’ for our work with the University of Northampton.

The shortage of qualified mental health nurses is a national issue, and to address the balance we took things into our own hands.

In 2016 we launched the ASPIRE programme, which allows our Healthcare Assistants to combine their learning and experience and jump straight into the second year of the University of Northampton’s Mental Health Nursing degree – completing a nursing degree in two years. While they are studying, St Andrew’s supports them with a £15,000 per annum salary support initiative, in addition to pastoral support.

Once they’ve completed their nursing degree, our graduates return to St Andrew’s in the role of staff nurse. From there, we encourage them move on to even more senior roles within the charity.

The ASPIRE programme owes its success to the partnership between St Andrew’s and the University, and the hard work of our students. The two organisations undertake joint interviewing for places, ensuring we have the perspective from both a person-centred and academic point a view.

This means that the staff who join ASPIRE are both what the University are looking for as students, and what the charity are looking for in potential applicants. Thirty-five students will have graduated from the programme by the end of 2018, with 64 currently undertaking studies.

Ali Boor, the ASPIRE Programme Manager for St Andrew’s Healthcare, explained: “I am so proud of the programme and what it means to the nursing profession, the charity and our service users. It is great to have our hard work recognised and to be shortlisted for these Awards.”

Emma Dillon, Senior Lecturer in Mental Health Nursing at University of Northampton, said: “The ASPIRE programme has been a big success in helping train the Mental Health and Learning Disability nurses of the future. Many thanks to our St Andrew’s colleagues for their support.”

As part of the judging process, Ged Rogers, St Andrew’s Clinical Education Manager will be heading to London in March to give a presentation to the judging panel about the ASPIRE programme.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony at the London Hilton on April 26. The 2018 shortlist is available on the Student Nursing Times Awards 2018 website.