11 May 2021
On this International Nurses Day 21 we are celebrating all our incredible graduate and nurse apprentices, especially after such a difficult year. The 12 May coincides with Florence Nightingale’s birthday who established the first professional nursing school, trailblazing the profession and highlighting the importance of nursing as a job and career, enabling the success of future nurses.
Today we hear from two of ARU’s Nurse Apprentices blazing their own trail by blending academic study with workplace learning through the Nursing Apprenticeship scheme to fulfil their career aspirations.
I started as a Healthcare Assistant at NELFT NHS Foundation Trust 5 years ago. During this time, I became a mum of two, so the chances of achieving a nursing degree and funding it myself were very slim. When I was offered to do the apprenticeship, it meant I could work and learn at the same time without the financial burden of student fees. I then realised I could finally fulfil my dream of becoming a fully qualified nurse.
During the last three years I have been able to work in my normal role and learn new skills in placements whilst maintaining my family life.
My first placement was in the hospital as a supernumerary student. The learning experience was so vast, and I met some amazing people, both colleagues and patients. I was there to witness and experience lots of different conditions, procedures and some very emotional and sometimes critical situations - it really did improve my skills as a nurse!
The apprenticeship has allowed me to spend more time with my patients and to support them through their journey, whilst expanding my own knowledge and experiences.
I’m in my final year as a Mental Health Nurse for Elysium Healthcare Clinic.
The degree apprenticeship has allowed me to remain in my job and progress my career. It has given me the confidence and security of having a position as a mental health nurse upon graduating and the financial freedom of completing a degree without any loans or debts.
During my apprenticeship I have added value to my team by implementing skills which I have learnt during my studies and working in varied settings during my placements. I have worked in forensic settings, which has helped me to build my self-confidence and resilience and in an older adult rehabilitation ward, which has helped me care for patients who are less mobile and require assistance with physical care.
I have been given numerous opportunities to develop my care planning skills which I believe will really benefit me as a registered nurse. My tutor has also played a major role in my development as a compassionate nurse and has been such a positive role model during his teaching.
The apprenticeship has been very rewarding especially meeting professionals in my field and learning valuable skills from them.