The Child Nursing Pathway in the Interprofessional Learning Programme is 156 weeks in length. There is an annual intake each September at the Canterbury Campus, and each April at the Medway Campus.
The programme is underpinned by a collaborative framework and in each year, students undertake a module with students from other pathways studying within the programme. Students across all pathways additionally study a module each year which supports and enhances their professional development.
In Year 1, child nurses undertake 4 modules which enable them to develop generic and specialist nursing knowledge which underpins practice in acute and community settings.
In Year 2, child nurses undertake 4 modules which enable them to develop knowledge and skills to care for children and young people within a range of settings in the acute and community sectors.
Year 3 provides additional opportunities for the development of child nursing skills within neonatal and high dependency care, and caring for the child with life limiting/threatening disorders. These are challenging areas in which to work and enable students to develop the skills necessary to support children, young people and families at times of stress/distress. Year 3 also offers the student the opportunity to develop effective management skills and to prepare for the transition to Registered Nurse.
Experience in practice constitutes 50% of the programme and links with the taught modules. Placements take place in a variety of settings both in hospital and the community. Students are allocated to a children's ward which is their base ward for the whole of the programme. During their placements, students are provided with a named supervisor(s) who support them during their practice placements. Initially, students observe qualified practitioners and gradually begin to participate in care delivery as their knowledge and skills increase.
The expectation is that students normally work the same shifts as their supervisors, which will involve working in the evening, some weekends and nights. Since placements are widespread throughout Kent, travelling is inevitable and unavoidable.
The assessment strategy of the programme is designed to test whether the student has attained the academic level required for the award of BSc (Hons) in Child Nursing, and the knowledge and clinical expertise necessary for eligibility for entry on to the NMC Register (Registered Nurse (Child)). Candidates are therefore required to pass both their theoretical assignments and their assessments in practice placements in order to complete the IPL Child Nursing programme.