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NHS calls on A-level students to consider a career in nursing

As nearly half a million students get their A-level results today, NHS leaders are calling on young people to consider a career in nursing.

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The NHS has worked with universities to offer more than 7,000 extra nursing places in higher education from this September, as part of the NHS Long Term Plan to build a workforce for the future of the health service and supported by its successful ‘We are the NHS recruitment campaign’

The NHS is one of the top ten employers in the world, offering around 350 roles, employing more than 1.3 million people, and caring for around one million patients every day.  Tens of thousands of students will call the UCAS clearing line over the next few days to secure a place at a different university to the one they originally chose and in some cases, will change career paths.

Over 60,000 students secured a place through the clearing last year and Ruth May, chief nursing officer for England, is urging people at a crossroads to join the health service.

As well as the nurses, a career in the NHS can then lead to roles including psychiatrist, lab technician, physio, paramedic, scientist, GP, surgeon, anaesthetist and over 300 more.

Ruth May, chief nursing officer for England said:

“The NHS is a fantastic employer with a huge range of career options available and ones you might not have considered before and offering great opportunities to work with lots of different people every day and help them when they need it the most. 

“It’s a hugely rewarding career and an exciting time to join as we deliver our Long Term Plan, which will positively impact the health and wellbeing of thousands of people.

“There are also a range of non-clinical roles and anyone considering a change in career direction should seriously consider working in our NHS, which offers students more than simply a first job out of university; we give people a career and a sense of community that stays for life.”

The call on students to pick a career in the NHS comes as the NHS launches the next stage of the ‘We are the NHS campaign’ – the largest ever jobs drive of its kind, helping to bring in a workforce to support delivery of Long Term Plan commitments like speeding up diagnosis of killer conditions, expanding world class mental health services and introducing cutting edge treatments like proton beam therapy for cancer.

Launching last year, the campaign has resulted in a 4.5% increase in nursing applications, including a 9% rise in male nursing applicants as well as the number of 18 year olds applying going up by a fifth.

The campaign will encourage those going through clearing to Search Nursing Careers to find out more about the huge opportunities offered in modern nursing.

Nikki Kanani, acting director of primary care for the NHS said: 

“Joining the NHS was the best career decision I ever made and every single day being part of this amazing community that makes incredible things happen gives me a sense of pride I couldn’t get working anywhere else.

“To all students considering their options I say this, the NHS is ready to welcome you into our community with open arms.”

The health service is also running programmes focussed on developing Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) staff and getting them into senior leadership positions, helping make sure that the NHS is increasingly representative of the wider community.

Yvonne Coghill, director of workforce race equality for the NHS said: 

“The NHS prides itself on being the most diverse organisation in the country.  We are lucky enough to have members of staff from all over the globe helping to make our NHS world class. We are very proud of the NHS and how it truly reflects the people we serve. No matter your background, when you join the NHS, you become part of the biggest and in my opinion the best organisation in the world.”

Sally Allum, acting chief nurse for the NHS in the South East said:

“ I’ve had a fantastic career as a nurse.  I’ve worked in some exciting places and have experienced so much of life throughout my career of caring for people. We offer so much as nurses and clinical leaders in such a diverse range of areas such as Prison Healthcare, Care Homes, Children and Young People services. The training we provide to our nurses is the best in the world and once qualified, the nursing career opportunities on offer are huge.  I have no hesitation in recommending the nursing profession to anyone who’s thinking about pursuing such a worthwhile and rewarding career – one that brings out your best qualities for the care and good of others”. 

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Crawley A-Level students show that it’s not just about University

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L-R, Angelo Amirthanayagam, St Wilfrids Headteacher Michael Ferry and Liam Draddy. Liam gained A* A* A* and Angelo A* A* A, both are off to study physics at Bristol and Warwick respectively.

There is always a deluge of press releases every year from schools across the town ready to impress everyone with their top students results.

Of course it’s always great to celebrate these and this year is no different but before we mention some outstanding results it is worth nothing that it is not all about going to University.

An ecstatic Kieron Stephens gained A A and is off to Exeter to study politics and Int. relations with study abroad.

There has always been a large amount of pressure of young people to follow the course of University after doing A-Levels, but in-fact this should be looked at as a choice not a necessity.

In this modern world the route to your chosen career can take many routes and whilst some do require a degree avenue there are many more that simply don’t.

One student from St Wilfrids is a prime example.

Faye Bromige with St Wilfrids Headteacher Michael Ferry.

Faye Bromige did exceptionally well in her results this year with A* A* A, but rather than choosing a place at University she battled through over 500 applicants to gain an apprenticeship with Virgin Atlantic in their finance department.

A spokesperson for Virgin Atlantic said:

“We’re delighted to welcome Faye along with four other finance apprentices this September. Faye and her peers will be an integral part of our finance business partnering team and will graduate with level 7 qualifications at the end of the programme. We’re also investing in apprenticeship programmes across our engineering and cabin crew teams and look forward to welcoming our new recruits this Autumn.”

Faye is not alone though as headteacher Michael Ferry explains:

“Some of our students have already gained apprenticeships since leaving Yr 13 with many being successful in gaining university places from September.”

For others though there was great joy that they were able to take the places they were offered.

Thomas Bennett Community College students celebrating their results.

Over at Thomas Bennett Community College there was real pride. A Level students achieved excellent results across all subjects.  In vocational students achieved 100% pass rates across all subjects at Merit and Distinction level with half of all the results at Distinction* (equivalent to A* at A Level). The Chelsea Academy also posted a 100% pass rate for all its NVQ students.

Headteacher Stuart Smith said:

“These results are an outstanding achievement for the college community.  Congratulations to all students on their hard work and for continuing the rise in exam success.  We would like to thank the staff who have given many additional hours of guidance and support to help our students realise their potential. We wish all leavers the very best of luck as they move on and know they have a bright future ahead.”

With other Crawley schools having similar success it is another great year for the towns schools.

But the real message here for all students is to remember it is not just about university and there are plenty of options always available no matter what your results are as this is just the start of an exciting journey!

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