This degree apprenticeship combines clinical practice with academic excellence, to create graduate nurses for the future.
Throughout this programme, degree apprentices are required to apply their learning in the workplace, meaning they have an immediate impact on the delivery of care for patients.
This programme is delivered through a blended approach, consisting of a 50 / 50 split between theory and practice.
Level 4 begins with a six week introductory block where learners are based at university full-time. For the remainder of the course, blocks of teaching are interspersed with a mix of ‘home’ and ‘away’ placements – the former take place in the apprentice’s place of work while the latter are with a host organisation. This approach enables learners to gain experience in a variety of healthcare settings, including acute, primary, independent and private care.
Towards the end of Year 3, learners return to their place of work full-time for one year to put their studies into practice. They then return to university for a short period of further study and assessment in order to complete taught programme.
As no two learners are the same, assessment is through a range of methods including essays, projects, presentations, portfolios and exams, as well as through the demonstration of clinical competence.
The compulsory (and independent) end point assessment takes place after the learner has completed the university part of the programme. It consists of two elements – a reflective essay and a professional discussion. The reflective essay requires the apprentice to explore topics including leadership and management, team working, nursing practice and decision making. In the professional discussion they are required to consider two scenarios which they must relate to their practice.
There is good news for all sizes of employers. Larger employers can utilise their Apprenticeship Levy to fund this apprenticeship (Levy funding has to be used within 24 months or it is lost to the employer). For employers with a payroll of less than £3m, there is funding support available (see below for more information).
The programme has been developed in partnership with the Gloucestershire NHS Health Community.
In addition to learning in their own workplace, degree apprentices undertake placements in a variety of other healthcare settings.
Upon successful completion, learners achieve a degree in nursing from the University of Gloucestershire.
“We work in collaboration with practice partners to provide education in the changing landscape of healthcare. Nurse Education has to meet the needs of professional bodies, organisations and individuals in order to ensure high quality healthcare. At University of Gloucestershire we never lose sight of that while also reminding learners to take care of themselves while caring for others.”
Dr Joy Darch, Academic Subject Leader, Nursing