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The Open University celebrates 10 years of nursing impact in Northern Ireland

John D’Arcyfrom the OU, Richard Pengelly from the Department of Health and Open University student nurse, Steven Ryan

THE Open University has celebrated 10 years since its first student nurses graduated in Northern Ireland.

Since 2008, more than 275 nurses have qualified with OU.

The university works in partnership with all Health and Social Care Trusts to offer a pre-registration nursing degree programme to existing employees.

It also offers student nursing places to healthcare assistants employed within independent nursing homes.

One OU student working in the Belfast Trust and studying for a BSc Adult Nursing is Steven Ryan from Belfast. After starting out in his career as a bricklayer, he had an accident and was unable to walk for two years. The care he received during this period from nursing staff inspired him to change direction and start working in healthcare.

"As a health care support worker, my course is sponsored by my employer – the Belfast Trust. This means I can study part-time alongside me job and keep my salary, allowing me to balance my studies with the other aspects of my life," he said.

"Nursing helps me to make a difference, and it impacts positively on people's lives."

John D'Arcy, National Director of The Open University said each graduate had committed to their studies and "also to making a difference to people's lives".

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