NEWLY-QUALIFIED nurses from The Open University who carried out their training at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust got the chance to celebrate their achievements at a special ceremony.

The trust, which runs Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital, Royal Hampshire County Hospital, in Winchester, and Andover War Memorial Hospital, uses regular appraisals to identify potential nurses of the future from its pool of healthcare workers.

They then get the chance to study for a nursing degree with The Open University, while also continuing to earn money and gain experience as a healthcare worker during the four-year programme.

The trust presented the latest graduates with a badge they will wear on their uniform for the rest of their career to show where they trained.

Chief nurse, Donna Green, presented the nurses with their badges and certificates.

She 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.

“Our nurses and midwives who join us through this route offer something invaluable to the team.

“They bring with them 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”

One of the nurses celebrated at the ceremony was Bex Petchey, whose parents also work at Hampshire Hospitals.

Bex said: “It feels surreal to be qualified! It has been tough but definitely worth it.When I got a job a Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital as a healthcare assistant it rekindled my passion and I knew I wanted to train to become a registered nurse.

“The hardest part was trying to balance everything, but you just have to keep going because you know at the end it will all be worth it.”