A new Oxford School of Nursing and Midwifery has been launched in March 2017, through a unique partnership between Oxford Brookes University, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, under the umbrella of the Oxford Academic Health Science Centre (OxAHSC).
It has been developed in response to a unique period of change in the professions of nursing and midwifery including the changes to funding and bursaries related to nursing and midwifery education.
Against this backdrop Oxford Brookes, along with healthcare partners in Oxfordshire responsible for educating and employing nurses and midwives, wanted to maximise the opportunity to increase collaborative working and change the model of nursing education and research in Oxford.
The purpose of the School is to create a joint University and Trust environment that builds a sense of belonging. It will be founded on the highest quality educational and research experience, creating excellent clinical practice experience, lifelong learning and career development, and establishing an environment of strong clinical research in these disciplines.
Similar partnership models have been successful in the USA, for example at the University of Pennsylvania and John Hopkins University, who are ranked globally as the top two nursing schools.
The School will be unique because it will combine education, research and clinical practice in a way that has not been developed across these professions, under the umbrella of an AHSC, in the UK so far to date.
It will be co-located on clinical and university sites in a campus model.
The School will be formally launched on 20 June, and it will open its doors on 1 August.
The Oxford Institute of Nursing and Allied Health Research (OxINMAHR) launched in 2016 and led by Oxford Brookes, will be the research arm of the School and will be further developed to explicitly include midwifery and support and expand the much needed research endeavour in all of these professions.
Professor Linda King, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Global Partnerships at Oxford Brookes University, said: “We are very excited about this new School; for students and our staff we will be creating an environment that reflects a feeling of a personalised journey of learning, initially as students and then through career development for qualified staff.
“Together we aim to be the exemplar model for nursing and midwifery education, research and clinical practice within the UK because it will take all three of these aspects to attract and retain our nurses and midwives.
“The quality of our provision will mean high-quality healthcare professionals, and in turn lead to greater benefits for NHS patient care across Oxfordshire.”
Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s Chief Nurse, Catherine Stoddart, said: “The new School will be a real opportunity to offer nursing and midwifery training and professional development not only at an exceptional level in Oxford, but one that builds an affinity to our Trust and aims in the longer term to address some of the local difficulties to recruit and retain the high calibre of nursing and midwifery staff our Trust employs.”
Ros Alstead OBE, Director of Nursing and Clinical Standards at Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are very excited about the new education, practice development and research opportunities presented by the new school, both for our nursing staff and newcomers to the profession. We hope to attract the best graduates to Oxford, and encourage more local people into choosing nursing as a career. The school will also enhance continuing professional development opportunities to ensure nurses currently working with us develop their careers locally and we attract experienced nurses to join our services.
“Increasing our nursing academic leadership in our clinical teams means real benefits for the NHS patients we treat as we translate the latest evidence and knowledge into nursing care at the bedside. The school utilises the leadership expertise of the two NHS trusts together with the two universities aiming for nursing in Oxford to be one of the leading schools in the UK and world.
“The school presents a great opportunity to build upon nursing research already taking place in Oxford and ensure nursing research and practice in all specialities is firmly at the heart of the city’s role as an international centre of excellence for medicine and research within the NIHR Oxford Health Biomedical Research Centre and Academic Health Science Centre. It will combine the versatility and vitality of the nursing community to continue to develop and improve care for patients.”
Sir John Bell, Regius Professor of Medicine at the University of Oxford and Chairman of the Oxford Academic Health Science Centre said: “The Oxford School of Nursing and Midwifery not only builds on Oxford’s tradition in nursing and midwifery training but represents an evolution of that vision, providing the next generation of healthcare professionals with education embedded in clinical research and practice.
“The integrated clinical training and research environment lies at the heart of the OAHSC and the new school is welcome addition to the partnership.”