Newcastle Hospitals has seen its first students to have graduated from the Registered Nurse Degree Apprenticeship scheme, the first of its kind in the UK, and join the frontline within the trust’s hospitals.
The eight graduating apprentices are now putting their skills to use in Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital and the Royal Victoria Infirmary.
Having been the first to join a Nursing and Midwifery Council-approved partnership between Northumbria University and the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in September 2018, they completed their course in just 18 months due to their previous clinical experience.
The government announced the Registered Nurse Degree Apprenticeship in 2016, enabling people to train to become a graduate registered nurse through an apprenticeship route for the first time in the UK.
Newcastle Hospitals’ eight new graduates have now joined various wards throughout the trust, including Critical Care, Cardiothoracic and Endoscopy wards, with many of them being redeployed to help in the Covid-19 response.
The government announced the Registered Nurse Degree Apprenticeship in 2016, enabling people to train to become a graduate registered nurse through an apprenticeship route for the first time in the UK
Dr Debbie Porteous, Head of the Department of Nursing, Midwifery and Health at Northumbria University said there had been fantastic collaboration with the Trust throughout, saying: “The structure of this specialist nursing degree apprenticeship programme moved away from traditional separate blocks of theory and clinical practice to a more blended approach.
“All the students had exceptional levels of drive and motivation, with a thirst to learn and achieve as best as they could.
“In addition, their mentors in clinical practice told us that the students were able to hit the ground running due to their previous clinical experience, and that has resulted in them getting much more from their placements.
“We have been genuinely delighted by the success of this programme – the first 18-month degree apprenticeship to run in the UK – and we look forward to similar success in our ongoing partnership with other Trusts and cohorts.
“We wish the graduates every success as they move into their new careers. The circumstances right now may be challenging, but we know they are focused, caring and determined and will be a credit to the nursing profession.”
Mauyra Cushlow, Executive Chief Nurse at Newcastle Hospitals, added: “Our nursing graduate apprentices will be directly involved in hands on clinical with patients from day one and they should be highly commended for entering the profession at this challenging time.
“They will be fully supported in their roles by our nursing teams and their peers and we are incredibly proud of them.
“As well as empowering and supporting our talented Healthcare Assistants to develop and qualify as registered nurses, this 18-month apprenticeship gives us the perfect opportunity to grow our own workforce.”