The first students for the new Higher Apprenticeship Nursing Associate course started this week at the University's Oxstalls campus.
The University and NHS partners from across the county, have selected forty Healthcare Assistants to enrol on the two year programme, which will help meet the growing demand for a skilled nursing workforce. The apprenticeship offers a clear pathway for trainees who want to further their career and work towards becoming a Nursing Associate.
The course is designed to develop trainees to work alongside Registered Nurses and Healthcare Assistants, splitting their time between learning at university and maintaining their career in healthcare. The course will see apprentices complete a diverse range of clinical placements, with a variety of Gloucestershire providers, to care for patients in a range of settings.
The University will spearhead their education, in collaboration with local Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust, NHS Trusts 2gether, NHS Foundation Trust, NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group and new partner Order of St. John's Care.
Anika Schmidt, Higher Apprenticeship Nursing Associate at the University, said:
“I'm really excited to start the course and gain more experience, skills and confidence as a practitioner. I have gone as far as I can go in my current role and this was the natural next step for me to take without leaving my job and losing an income. It's nice to be back in education and know that there are people here who can support me with the academic elements of the course. I can't wait to see what I can achieve as an apprentice."
Lorraine Dixon, Head of School for Health and Social Care at the University, said:
This is a pivotal time in nurse education, and the Nursing Associate Apprenticeship is a new member of nursing family. They will play a key part of the multi-disciplinary workforce, responding to the future needs of the public and patients. The national curriculum framework provides a benchmark for us to deliver the programme to equip Nursing Associates with the skills and competence to support registered nurses. An experienced team of nurse academics who have a vision for nurse education that supports students to consider caring for themselves while caring for others.
Dr Marion Andrews-Evans, Executive Nurse and Quality Lead at NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, said:
“This is fantastic news for the health community in Gloucestershire and a great opportunity for those healthcare assistants who are keen to pursue a career as a Nursing Associate, by offering them the right training, education and learning support. The course will help individuals further their career development, and their contribution and commitment to the NHS will be invaluable, helping to boost our skilled nursing workforce."