The first recruits on a new NHS Nursing Apprenticeship scheme have now started working towards their dream career.
A total of 25 people are being given the opportunity to work while they study thanks to the 18-month higher apprenticeship scheme.
Earlier this year, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust and Norfolk Community Health and Care launched the West Norfolk Cohort scheme to help boost the number of nurses in the area by developing Health or Social Care Assistants.
The three organisations will be working with the University of Suffolk to provide the course, which is the equivalent of a foundation degree with the chance to study further to become a Registered Nurse.
This bespoke course aims to provide the apprentices with the knowledge and hands-on experience to provide a high level of care to patients across West Norfolk when they qualify as an Assistant Practitioner.
Lectures in a range of subjects will be held one day a week at the QEH and will be complemented on a placement rotation in a number of departments.
Chief Nurse at The QEH Emma Hardwick said: “We are delighted to be part of such an exciting and innovative scheme which will make a big impact on the number of nurses working within West Norfolk.
“For some people, financial and family commitments may put university out of their reach but the apprenticeship scheme will change that and open up a host of new opportunities for our learners.
“Grow Your Own is a key component in our Nurse Recruitment strategy by helping to develop the staff who are already committed to the Trust along with highlighting the merits of nursing in King’s Lynn to local youngsters and students who are spending their placement here."
Dawn Collins, NSFT’s Deputy Director of Nursing, said: “We are delighted that the scheme has been so popular and it is a testament to the fact that this is the type of opportunity we need to be offering people either coming into the NHS or wanting to develop their careers with all of our NHS trusts.
“I think people understand that with this programme we are not only investing in the future of our local NHS, but most importantly in the staff who work within it. All of that will benefit our local patients.”
Debbie Beresford, Deputy Director of Nursing at NCH&C, said: “By offering students both training and the experience of working in the community, this programme will help students recognise the opportunities available to them and help nurture the future nursing talent in West Norfolk.
“This is a fantastic example of collaborative working with other Trusts and we are delighted to support students in their ambitions to become fully qualified Registered Nurses.
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