Michael Jenkins is a third-year apprentice on the Mental Health Nursing Degree Apprenticeship. His placement changed during his studies in order to align with his area of employment and professional practice, which required a period of adjustment and reflection. This change to his role and level of accountability, combined with the adjustments in the approaches to patient contact within the NHS during the COVID pandemic, have presented Michael with an array of personal and professional challenges. However, it has not impacted on his aspirations within the Health Care sector, which he describes as ‘dynamic’, as he strives to continue working with his current employer whilst adapting to the expectations of his practice once he qualifies.
In terms of study, Michael has not considered the partial closure of campus and remote working to be of detriment to his training. He has found that virtual learning has been a pleasure to attend and managed to extract and engage with the learning required during his sessions, with the proactive and timely support of his personal dissertation supervisor and course team.
Overall Michael would highly recommend a higher or degree apprenticeship. He is a mature student who left school with very little academic reward but is on the homestretch to successfully completing an honours degree, in addition to a foundation degree that he also achieved thanks to an apprenticeship programme.