The adult nursing course at the University of Portsmouth, launched just two years ago, has won endorsement from the industry leader in simulation-based education.

Portsmouth is the first university programme in the UK to be awarded accreditation from the Association of Simulated Practice in Healthcare (ASPiH).

Simulated learning – using, for example, actor role players and life-like manikins – has become recognised worldwide as the safest and best way for healthcare students to learn.

Academics on Portsmouth’s BN (Hons) Adult Nursing course were praised by the association for developing a course which puts patients first, describing it as an example to be followed nationally.

The association also described the course’s focus on students’ psychological safety as commendable.

Leader of the nursing course Dr Isobel Ryder said: “We are delighted to be the first university to win accreditation from a body which provides the gold standard in healthcare training using simulation.

“It’s a significant achievement. We have developed a real depth of expertise in simulation, using the best and most advanced technology and techniques, including the use of actors, helping students learn in extremely realistic environments. Such facilities and training help our future nurses develop resilience and flexibility, making them better equipped to deal with a broad range of healthcare situations.”

The association has been praised for imposing standards on healthcare training to try and ensure a consistent approach and credible training.

It took the Portsmouth course team six months to collate the evidence needed to submit their application to the association.

Senior lecturer Carrie Hamilton, who led the bid, said: “Learning through simulation is vital in improving patient safety, quality of care, teamwork and understanding what matters to patients and their relatives. This includes kindness, empathy and compassion.

“I am extremely pleased and proud of the course team, it really is brilliant for the University and for patients who our nurses will be caring for in future.”