First nurse joins new graduate programme at St David’s Hospice

Categories: Education.

The graduate nurse programme, developed in partnership with Bangor University, provides supportive and structured training to help graduates become confident palliative care nurses.

Over 12 months, participants on the programme undertake a Master-level module in palliative care while working alongside specialist palliative care teams, both within the hospices and out in the community.

Participants also have the opportunity to shadow other members of the multi-disciplinary team and access formal and information training and support from experienced nurse mentors.

Trystan Pritchard, chief executive of the hospice, explained that the graduate nurse programme was introduced to help improve workforce planning:

“The hospice was facing a number of retirements of experienced nurses and had received a variable response to recruitment campaigns in the past.

“It was decided that, with the increasingly complex case load and the level of expertise required to manage our patients, that we would be better placed in the future if we developed our own staff.

“This allows us to shape the education and experiences of our graduate nurses and ensure that they have the right skills to sustain the hospice in the future.”

Trystan adds that the programme is just part of of a range of joint projects with the University’s School of Nursing which will include research, education and the possibility of joint teaching posts.

Ceri Cheeseman, who qualified as a registered nurse in April, is the first graduate to join the programme.

“While studying for my degree, I had various work placements which involved end of life care. I felt very drawn to this type of nursing,” Ceri explains. “A presentation was given by the chief executive of the hospice, and that’s when I decided ‘I want to do that!’”

Ceri is already enjoying working at the hospice: “The atmosphere is totally different to a hospital environment. It is such a lovely place, very calm and relaxing. The staff go out of their way and nothing is too much trouble.

“I work 12 hour shifts and after a couple of weeks shadowing other members of staff, I’m now responsible for individual patient care. I am using many specialist nursing techniques such as PEG feeding and administering medication via a syringe driver.”

Prof Jo Rycroft-Malone, head of the School of Healthcare Sciences at Bangor University, commented: “Ceri is blazing the trail by being the first graduate from the School of Healthcare Sciences to be appointed into this graduate nurse programme and we are proud of her achievement.

“We’re delighted to be working in partnership with St David’s Hospice, which provides such an important service for the community.”

You can find out more about the graduate nurse programme on the hospice’s website

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