Some of the student nurses from Oman who studied at USW
STAFF at the University of South Wales (USW) have bid farewell to a group of students from Oman who have completed 18 months of a nursing programme.
The 16 students will return home after studying for both undergraduate and post-graduate qualifications at USW, on courses sponsored by the Oman government.
The project was approved after talks between officials from USW and Oman, and aims to help support the Arabian country’s 50-year health service improvement project.
“We were approached by officials from Oman to get involved in the project because of the strong reputation for nurse education that USW has,” explained Drewe Phillips, Head of International Development in the university’s Faculty of Life Sciences and Education.
“Former students had given very good feedback on the teaching and facilities here, so we were able to attract our first fully-sponsored group from Oman at the start of last year.”
As part of the programme, the students gained practical experience within a range of private and public sector partners – including Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, Velindre NHS Trust, Cardiff and Vale NHS Trust, Ty Enfys Care Home and Care Management Group, which supports people with learning disabilities.
“The real-life experience was something that the students particularly valued,” said Principal Lecturer Diane Powles, who is also Associate Head of Care Sciences.
“They were able to gain experience in a wide range of clinical placements, including at the University Hospital of Wales, Velindre Hospital, Nevill Hall Hospital and Ty Enfys in Cardiff.
“Working with Care Management Group widened that skillset further, as there is very little provision for learning disability care in Oman.”
There were wider benefits beyond the clinical learning.
“The students were very impressed with the Nursing and Midwifery Council Code for professional standards of practice and behaviour for nurses and midwives,” Diane added. “And the examples of how the NHS functions, the partnerships, the role of specialist nurses, were all well regarded – in fact, everything that contributes towards developing the global nursing community.”
And it might not be the only time that Omani nurses are trained at USW.
“We’re in negotiation to accept more students,” Mr Phillips added. “It’s a partnership that is beneficial to both sides, and we hope that the recently-completed project will be the first of many.”