SWAP Career to Nursing Through Access Course

An exciting course has been revived through the Forth Valley University College NHS Partnership to help local people SWAP careers and enter into nursing.

The Scottish Wider Access Programme (SWAP) Access to Nursing course has returned to Forth Valley College to give opportunities to adults returning to study after a period away from education. It is specifically designed for returners who do not have the necessary qualifications to gain a place on a Higher National (HN) course or a degree level university qualification.

However, successful completion of this course could lead to degree study at the University of Stirling, who are involved in the course selection process. It is hoped graduates from the course will provide a continuous number of highly trained nurses from the Forth Valley area, to help to support NHS Forth Valley. More information SWAP Access to Nursing | Forth Valley College 

This ambitious partnership collaboration between the College, the University of Stirling and NHS Forth Valley – launched in October 2022 – aims to improve patient care and treatment for communities across the region for years to come.  Building on a long-standing relationship between the three institutions, it is working across four priority areas: learning, careers, research and innovation.

The partnership will deliver transformational change to the health and social care of the area through the delivery of new learning and development opportunities for students and staff, and become a nerve centre for world-class research and innovation developed to directly respond to the needs of local people.

Subject areas covered in the revived course include: Communications, Numeracy, Care Higher units, ICT, Biology, Health Care units, and completion can allow students to progress onto Degrees in Adult Nursing; Mental Health Nursing; Child Nursing; Learning Disabilities Nursing; and HNCs in Social Services; and Health Care Practice. 

The programme is specifically designed for adults who are returning to education after a gap, and who have the motivation and ability to go on to study at university or for a higher level qualification at college.

Professor Ken Thomson OBE, Principal of Forth Valley College, said: “The return of the Access to Nursing course, is another great example of how the Forth Valley University College NHS Partnership is working well to focus on what is needed in Forth Valley’s Health Care sector. It is an excellent opportunity for adult returners to education to change careers and build a new and exciting career in health care. We are confident the students graduating from this course will go on to have a worthwhile and rewarding career. Once again it will assist NHS Forth Valley to plan their future workforce requirements and make sure that Forth Valley College can help them ‘Make Healthcare Learning Work’ in Forth Valley for generations to come.”

Professor Frances Dodd, Executive Nurse Director, NHS Forth Valley, said: “This access course is just one example of the many different routes to a new career in nursing. I’d encourage anyone who has an interest in nursing to find out more about the many opportunities and options available.

“It’s never too late to change careers and retrain as a nurse and I’d encourage anyone who has an interest in nursing to find out more about the many training and development opportunities available.”

Professor Jayne Donaldson, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport, University of Stirling, said: “Nursing is a hugely rewarding career that can lead to a wide range of roles in caring for others and promoting health and wellbeing.

“The SWAP course is an excellent example of the different routes and paths open to those who may be thinking about a career in healthcare at a different stage in life.

“We are delighted to support this alternative route in to the profession and to play a leading role in nurturing a diverse nursing workforce for the future.”

The return of the Access to Nursing course comes hot on the heels an announcement by the partnership of three new courses to lay the foundations for a career in the health and care sector, which are also recruiting now at Forth Valley College. These courses are expected to be an exciting option for senior phase pupils who are considering progression to a health or care course at college or university.

More information on the innovative short courses: Prep for Care Practice; Introduction to Nursing; and Introduction to a Career in Social Care, can be found by visiting this link https://www.forthvalley.ac.uk/about-us/fvucnhspartnership/

All of these courses could lead on to full-time study on the HNC Healthcare Practice also offered at Forth Valley College and possible further progression to degree level study at the University of Stirling.

More information on all these courses and how to apply can be found by visiting this link https://www.forthvalley.ac.uk/about-us/fvucnhspartnership/

Visit the Forth Valley NHS University College partnership website for more information: https://fvnhsuniversitycollege.org.