Trust launches apprenticeship for aspiring nurses

Posted: 28/04/21

Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (CNTW) is to become the first trust in the region to offer a mental health or learning disability nurse degree apprenticeship to aspiring nurses.

Applications for the Registered Nurse Degree Apprenticeship, which is currently only offered to employees of the Trust, will open to those suitably qualified and interested in a career in nursing on 3rd May 2021, with a closing date of 5pm on 28th May 2021.

In conjunction with the University of Sunderland, the course offers successful applicants paid employment and education through a combination of supernumerary learning and working in a nursing environment.

The course allows people the opportunity to earn and learn. Based on current rates, there will be a starting wage of £18,005 in the first year, rising to £19,737 years 2-5 Increment.

Gail Bayes, Deputy Director of CNTW Academy, said: “This is a real commitment to the Trust’s ambitions to offer innovative career pathways. The course has been a great success internally and we are delighted to be able to expand our offer. We welcome a diverse range of applicants who are enthusiastic and willing to learn and look forward to supporting the future generation of mental health and learning disability nurses.”

Gary O’Hare, CNTW’s Chief Nurse, said: “Our Nursing Strategy supports a career development pathway from novice to expert. This five-year apprenticeship programme opens the door to attract applicants who want to earn and learn as they progress to Professional Registration.”

Simone Bedford, Team Leader for Professional Healthcare Practice and Midwifery at the University of Sunderland, said: “The University of Sunderland has worked with CNTW for many years, supporting the Registered Nurse Degree Apprenticeship with internal staff and this has been hugely successful.

“The expansion of the programme to non CNTW staff is a great opportunity for the Trust to go further in ‘growing its own’ nurses.  This landmark moment will enable suitably qualified people to train to be a Registered Mental Health or Learning Disability Nurse in a fantastic NHS Trust, learning and earning as they do their degree with the University of Sunderland.”

Hazel Rounthwaite, Head of Work Based Learning at the University of Sunderland, said: “This is an exciting development in our partnership with CNTW. This new opportunity enables CNTW to grow their workforce in addition to giving individuals the opportunity to study towards a degree whilst gaining on the job experience.”

Over the course of five years, the Registered Nurse Degree Apprenticeship is an opportunity for suitable candidates to gain experience in an in-demand and secure career.

Students will receive a high level of support and work with a senior mentor throughout the course.

Interviews will be held on 19th and 20th July with successful applicants having three months of work experience before they begin the five-year course in January 2022.

Matt Fairclough is an apprentice on the current cohort. He said: “Everyone has been so supportive to ensure I meet my university requirements while also giving me opportunities to learn on the ward. I really like the apprenticeship as it allows me to put what I’ve learned into practice straight away. I cannot praise CNTW enough for giving me this valuable opportunity.”

CNTW is a leading provider of mental health and disability services in the North East and north Cumbria.

To apply, visit the NHS Jobs site Registered Nurse Degree Apprentice (

There will also be a virtual Q&A event, held via Eventbrite, at 6.30pm on 13th May 2021. Details can be found here:

If you have any queries, please email [email protected]