The University of Hertfordshire has launched a new state-of-the-art Nursing Simulation Laboratory and Ward with the help of a £164.8k Local Growth Fund grant from Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

The funding has enabled the University’s School of Health and Social Work to purchase a suite of new equipment, including simulation devices, cameras, monitors and models, to enhance teaching provision in response to growing demand for Nursing Associate and Degree Apprenticeships programmes.

Adrian Hawkins, Deputy Chair at Hertfordshire LEP, said: “Developing our future workforce is one of the key priorities of our Hertfordshire Skills Strategy and to that end, we are working closely with education providers to ensure our young people are equipped with the skills and confidence they need to succeed in the workplace.

“Our Local Growth Fund investment has enabled the University of Hertfordshire to introduce sophisticated new simulation technology that will significantly broaden the scope for nursing training, helping boost students’ employability while ensuring the skills needs of employers are met.”

Jackie Kelly, Dean of the School of Health and Social Work, University of Hertfordshire, said: “The use of simulation in nurse education has been advancing rapidly over the past ten years. It enables us to develop our students’ skills and confidence in a safe yet realistic environment, preparing them for their future careers in real-world settings. 

"Simulation can also involve role-play scenarios with other professional student groups, such as paramedics and physiotherapists. With this new equipment we will be able to enhance the inter-professional learning aspects of our health curricula and give students broader experience of multi-disciplinary team working.

“This investment will ensure our students and apprentices are receiving the best technical education available. Our graduates will emerge better prepared, skilled, competent and practice-ready, to provide the workforce needed to deliver excellence in nursing and healthcare provision across our local NHS and wider healthcare services."

Minister for Local Growth, Jake Berry MP, said: “This government is committed to boosting economic growth across the whole of the UK and building a Britain fit for the future.

“This £165,000 investment from the Local Growth Fund will provide necessary equipment to train new nurses at the University of Hertfordshire, ensuring that local NHS trusts are able to recruit nurses with the best technical training available.”

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Read the Hertfordshire Skills Strategy to 2020.