The Trust’s first cohort of Registered Nurse Degree Apprentices are due to complete their programme which will enable them to practice as a registered nurse once they have obtained their PIN. This will complete a challenging two-year period which saw them learn the role of a nurse, whilst at the same time studying a degree.
The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic clearly changed the shape of the course, with online learning becoming the norm and the huge changes within the NHS meaning everyone, including the apprentices, had to adapt to a new way of working.
A selection of the graduates were on hand to receive a personal congratulations from Trust Director of Nursing Pete Murphy, while Simone Anderton, Deputy Director of Nursing attended a special event to give her own thanks.
Simone, who trained as a nurse 35 years ago, was happy to see the apprenticeship scheme bearing fruit.
She said: “When I first started my training all that time ago it was more aligned to the apprenticeship route, it wasn’t a degree, or an academic programme. With the Registered Nurse Degree Apprenticeships, we have almost come full circle, this is a new way of learning in practice whilst still achieving a degree-level qualification.
“We’ve got to open up new avenues for individuals, to allow people to aspire to be a registered nurse and achieve those aspirations, and not just have one academic route, which really excluded a lot of people from reaching that goal.
“This is also a part of our ‘Grow Our Own’ ethos, where we hope to see local boys, girls, men and women being able to access a career through training whilst working and getting a registration within our profession.
“This programme opens a massive opportunity for people who wouldn’t normally be able to access that.”
Gemma Hall, an assistant practitioner who is one of the first to graduate through the pathway said: “I’ve accomplished my lifetime dreams, I’ve always wanted to be a nurse. I’ve been working as a scrub nurse in ophthalmic theatres, doing most of the jobs that a qualified nurse does, so this just seemed the right step to take. It’s a pathway to becoming a registered nurse, but at the same time a paid way to qualify.”
RNDA’s attend the University of Central Lancashire one day a week. At the end of the programme the apprentice is awarded the BSc (Hons) Nursing with Registered Nurse. The RNDA’s practice and contribute towards evidence-based care and treatment in accordance to the NMC standards of proficiencies for the Registered Nurse. The RNDA is a highly trained role to support the delivery of effective, safe and responsive care in and across a wide range of health and care settings. The RNDA is allocated to a base placement throughout the programme and allocated three external placements. The programme combines academic (20%) off the job learning and work-based learning through close collaboration between employers and Higher Education providers.