Bridgwater & Taunton College (BTC) is proud to have been awarded a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Education, a distinguished award recognising the College's unparalleled commitment to addressing the critical workforce challenges faced by the NHS in Somerset.

BTC, in an extraordinary initiative, has become the pioneering force behind addressing the shortage of qualified nurses in Somerset. Over a period of ten years, BTC has been steadfastly forging partnerships, advocating for change, and innovating solutions that have transformed healthcare education and career opportunities in the region.

In a nationwide first, BTC gained consent from both the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) and its university partner, University of the West of England, to deliver nursing degrees locally. This has positioned the College as the first FE institution to join the Council of Deans of Health, lending a voice in shaping health policy and education on a national scale.

“By delivering nursing degrees right here in Somerset through our University Centre, University Centre Somerset, we've not only expanded career horizons for our community but also made a significant impact on the health and wellbeing of our residents,” said Andy Berry, Principal and CEO, BTC. "This initiative demonstrates our dedication to meeting local workforce demands and retaining local talent."

%image('17466501', type="article-full", alt="Aspiring nurses can embark on their professional journey through our T Level in Health and our Access to Higher Education programmes")

The importance of this initiative is underscored by the daunting challenges faced by the healthcare sector. Projections reveal a looming gap of 140,600 nurses by 2031 in England, coupled with a decline in nursing graduates by 2025. With an ageing population and the ripple effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the need for qualified healthcare professionals is paramount.

The Queen’s Anniversary Prize, run by the Royal Anniversary Trust, honours institutions that showcase excellence, innovation, and significant public benefit in the sphere of UK education. BTC’s recognition is a testament to its pivotal role in steering healthcare education and workforce solutions in the right direction.

Sir Damon Buffini, Chair of The Royal Anniversary Trust said: “The Queen’s Anniversary Prizes for Higher and Further Education are an integral part of our national Honours system, shining a light on the ground-breaking work taking place in universities and colleges across the UK.

All 22 Prize-winners demonstrate excellence, innovation and impact, with many tackling some of the toughest problems we as a society face today. They are to be commended for reaching this pinnacle of achievement in the tertiary education sector. Congratulations!”

%image('17466513', type="article-full", alt="University Centre Somerset is part of Bridgwater & Taunton College, delivering degrees and degree level programmes in a wide range of subjects, including BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing and BSc (Hons) Mental Health Nursing")

If you would like more information or would like to study nursing at Bridgwater & Taunton College or University Centre Somerset, please contact our Information and Advice team on 01278 441234, or visit  or