NEWLY-QUALIFIED nurses got the chance to celebrate their achievements at a special ceremony.

Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust which oversees several hospitals including Royal Hampshire County Hospital, in Winchester uses regular appraisals to identify potential nurses from existing healthcare staff.

Those chosen, then study for a nursing degree with The Open University, while continuing to work for the trust. The latest graduates of the four-year programme were at a ceremony presented with a badge they will wear on their uniform for the rest of their career to show where they trained.

Chief nurse Donna Green who presented the nurses with their badges and certificates said: “I am constantly inspired by and in awe of what our graduates achieve. Gaining a qualification whilst balancing everything else can be a real challenge, so they should be incredibly proud of themselves for gaining their qualification.

“Nurses and midwives who join us through this route offer something invaluable to the team, a wealth of experience.”

and skills gained from the time they have already spent working as healthcare workers. I am very proud of everything they have achieved and wish them every success as they continue their career.”

Nikki Henderson who graduated from the course with a first said: “It was quite daunting changing from being a healthcare assistant and student nurse to a qualified staff nurse, but everyone on the ward has been so supportive. It was a huge achievement to qualify with a first and I’m looking forward to continuing my career.”