As part of National Apprenticeship Week, we met with Gail Bayes, deputy director of development for CNTW Academy, to talk about the Registered Nurse Degree Apprenticeship on offer to staff at Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (CNTW).
Here’s what Gail had to say:
There are a number of apprenticeship opportunities across the nursing career pathway.
If you’re a nursing assistant and thinking about progressing your career, the Registered Nurse Degree Apprenticeship might be for you.
The course is 3-4 years depending on experience and offers training to become a registered nurse through the apprenticeship route.
Thanks to the apprenticeship levy, nursing assistants are able to do this course without the need to pay university fees while being paid their full-time salary and expanding learning in their current roles. Many organisations offer some support but we believe this level of support is something that is unique to CNTW. There are a lot of people who would not have been able to access the apprenticeship without this benefit.
In partnership with the University of Sunderland, the full-time apprenticeship involves 50% supernumerary learning and 50% in your current role, meaning there is not too much disruption to teams.
With the third cohort beginning at the end of January, there are now 79 full-time apprentices with an age range of 19-49. This goes to show you don’t have to be young and just out of school to become an apprentice!
To apply you need to be in a permanent role in the Trust and have worked in it for a minimum of 12 months, have GCSE or equivalent in Maths and English, and evidence of Level 3 healthcare study (available in the Trust) or higher. You must also have the support of your line manager and associate director.
After applying, there is a joint interview process with CNTW and the University of Sunderland. For those who may be unsuccessful they are given feedback and have the option to apply again.
The course has assessments throughout and ends with apprentices presenting what they have learnt as part of an ‘end-point assessment’. Apprentices will then be awarded with a BSc Honours and register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).
For managers thinking about having a member of staff on the Registered Nursing Degree Apprenticeship, I would say to them not to ask if we can afford this, but ‘Can we afford not to?’ Make use of the apprentice’s new skills and allow them to share knowledge with the rest of the team.
Not only does the Registered Nurse Degree Apprenticeship support staff to reach their full potential, it’s also great for the Trust. There is a shortage of registered nurses and often the dropout rate for nursing degrees is high – we’re hoping to buck that trend.
Click here to hear from staff on the Registered Nursing Degree Apprenticeship.
You can follow our Apprenticeships team @CNTWapprentices on Twitter and Instagram to keep up with their latest news and opportunities.