Taking nursing to the next level with a Foundation Degree Apprenticeship

More than 50 healthcare staff have started a new Nursing Associate Foundation Degree Apprenticeship at the University of Wolverhampton.

The role of a Nursing Associate aims to bridge the gap between healthcare support workers and registered nurses, enabling nurses to spend more time on clinical duties and take more of a lead in decisions about patient care.

The first cohort of Nursing Associate Foundation Degree Apprentices attended induction days at the University’s Walsall Campus during National Apprenticeship Week (5-9 March 2018).

The Apprentices are from a variety of healthcare settings and NHS trusts within the West Midlands, namely, the Walsall NHS Trust, Dudley Hospitals NHS Trust, Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust, The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust and Burton Hospitals NHS trust. There are also Apprentices from independent health organisations within the region, such as Compton Hospice and Virgin Care.

The Nursing Associate will play a key part within the multi-disciplinary workforce that is needed to respond to the future needs of the public and patients, and play an important role in expanding the healthcare workforce. Nursing Associate Apprentices will be highly trained, and work alongside healthcare support workers and qualified nurses focusing on the provision of quality patient care.

Kellie Morris is a Clinical Support Worker at Walsall NHS Trust and is one of the Nursing Associate Degree Apprentices. She said: “I decided to do the Apprenticeship because I feel my patients need more from me and this is the best way to make sure they get what they need. It allows me to earn as I’m learning and it’s in a setting I feel comfortable with.

“I feel excited, anxious and hungry for knowledge and I’m loving every minute of it. I hope to gain a better knowledge of nursing and to carry on to complete a Registered Nurse Degree.”

Jackie Mitchell, Head of Apprenticeships within the Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing, said: “This is the first Apprenticeship within the University’s Institute of Health and Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing so the induction days were a true cause for celebration.

“Learning ‘on the job’ is central to any Apprenticeship programme with 20% of their time spent away from their current day job, which for Nursing Associate Apprentices requires them to attend the University one day per week to study for a Foundation Degree.

“This Nursing Associate Apprenticeship has been developed in line with the Health Education England Nursing Associate Curriculum Framework and Nursing and Midwifery Council draft Standards for Proficiency.”

Michele Roberts, Head of the University’s Apprenticeship Hub, added: “The Nursing Associate Apprenticeship programme has benefitted from the pilot programme the University operated with a number of partner organisations last year.  We have worked extensively with employers in building a programme that meets their requirements, NMC requirements as well as ensuring the appropriate support mechanisms are in place for our Apprentices along the way. 

“This is the start of a growing portfolio in Health for Apprenticeships and where we want to continue the good employer relations we have developed.”

The University offers Higher and Degree Apprenticeships in Chartered Management (CMDA), Higher Apprenticeship in Construction Management with pathways for Civil Engineering, Built Environment and Architecture, Chartered Surveying, Chartered Legal Executive and Healthcare Science Practitioner Degree Apprenticeships.

Future Higher and Degree Apprenticeships will include Digital Technologies, Manufacturing Engineering, Product Design & Engineer, Civil Engineering, Policing, Social Work, Nursing and Paramedic Degree Apprenticeships.

Over 150 apprentices are already studying for Higher and Degree level qualifications at the University.

For more information about Degree Apprenticeships, visit: www.wlv.ac.uk/apprenticeshiphub or call: 01902 321 000.

Further information

Date Issued: Friday, 09 March 2018

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