First Professors of Nursing and Midwifery herald unique new courses

Leicester has taken the first steps in establishing a new centre for nursing and midwifery expertise with the appointment of two Foundation Professors and approval granted for a suite of innovative new degree courses.

It follows the Government’s announcement in March of an increase in NHS midwives and maternity support staff, with a plan to train more than 3,000 extra midwives over 4 years. 5,000 new places on nursing training courses were also announced by Government in 2017.

The University has announced Professor Jayne Marshall as Foundation Professor of Midwifery and Professor David Clarke as Foundation Professor of Nursing. In joining Leicester, they establish a critical mass of talent that will pioneer new undergraduate and postgraduate taught courses, and enhance the University’s research into clinical practice.

Their first priorities will be the creation of three innovative new degrees with leadership at their core: a Master in Science Midwifery, and two Master in Science degrees in Nursing (Adult Nursing with Mental Health and Children’s Nursing with Mental Health).

The programmes are pre-registration and lead to registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council. The programmes are being developed in partnership with University Hospitals of Leicester and Leicestershire Partnership Trust.

Professor Clarke, who is leading on development of the undergraduate degrees in Nursing, said: “For the first time, nursing and midwifery students in Leicestershire will have the opportunity to study at a research-intensive university that has a global reputation for its health and medical research. They will also be learning alongside medical students, physiotherapists, Operating Department Practitioners – as well as psychology and biological sciences students. There are going to be opportunities to work collaboratively and inter-professionally.”

Professor Marshall said: “We are starting something that is unique to the midwifery and nursing professions and to Leicester. The University has a great deal to support the development of these new programmes. This will complement our own knowledge and expertise of facilitating the learning of others that has been acquired over the years and in other institutions to be ultimately able to make our own mark in Leicester.

“The midwifery and nursing professions need leaders who have vision, are articulate and get their voice heard at the highest level. Our programmes plan to prepare the next generation of midwives and nurses to do just that.”