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Event held to celebrate the nurses of the future

26 Jul 2021 11:30AM

The University of Suffolk has held an event to celebrate the achievements of its first Nursing Associates. 

The Nursing Associate role was launched in 2017, following the Shape of Caring review in 2015, with the first Nursing Associates nationally registering with the Nursing and Midwifery council (NMC) in 2019. The role is part of the nursing workforce to bridge the gap between Healthcare Assistant and Registered Nurse.  

Mandi Syrett, Course Lead for Nursing Associates and Assistant Practitioners, said “The University of Suffolk were part of the 2018 Health Education England (HEE) third wave pilot in collaboration with Suffolk and North Essex Partnership (SNEE), and this cohort are our first group to complete the FdA Nursing Associate (higher apprenticeship). They have been supported by their employers of local health and social care providers in their apprenticeship journey, through the 2-year programme. They have all come from a caring background and have learnt knowledge, skills and behaviours embedded within the Nursing Associate apprenticeship standard, using underpinning academic knowledge and applying this to the clinical setting.” 

Mandi added “They have all shown fantastic resilience in the adversity of the global pandemic with studying and working within the health care setting during such unprecedented times. Our cohort are now registered with the NMC and start their career journey as registered practitioners in their own right.” 

An event to celebrate the achievements of the Nursing Associates and the fact they are the first University of Suffolk and SNEE partnership cohort to complete their apprenticeship, was held at Trinity Park on Saturday (24 July). 

Clare Ruffell, the Course Representative, spoke at the event and said “Our cohort came with a wide range of experience, residential homes, theatres, community, mental health, acute, stroke and orthopaedics. Many apprentices were redeployed during the pandemic to COVID-19 wards and even intubation teams. I'm so proud of how well we have all coped with the changes this year and the strength and support they have given each other to thrive and finish the course. This course is such a gateway to those of all ages and backgrounds who want to continue a Nursing career that otherwise would be inaccessible.” 

To find out more about the FdA Nursing Associate (higher apprenticeship) please email Mandi Syrett  


University of Suffolk Press Office