University welcomes first Apprenticeship Nursing Associates

On Monday 24 September 2018, our first apprentices started at Keele on a Nursing Associate apprenticeship.

The programme, being delivered by the School of Nursing and Midwifery, also incorporates our first Foundation Degree. Twenty students from the University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust and Douglas MacMillan Hospice started the programme in this cohort, which will last for two years.

Learning with Keele University takes place through a combination of block and day release. In the first week in the University, apprentices have taken part in a range of activities including workshops on clinical reasoning and thinking like a nurse, clinical skills based on adult and paediatric life support and well as interactive seminars on the new nursing role of ‘Associate Nurse’.

The programme is operating as a partnership with Staffordshire University, Trusts and care providers across Staffordshire and Shropshire to deliver training to 190 Nurse Associates through apprenticeship supported by Health Education England. A further cohort is planned for Spring 2019, when additional employers engaged in the partnership intend to launch their apprentices.

Nursing Associate is a new generic support role that will bridge the gap between existing healthcare support workers and registered nurses to deliver hands-on care for patients and service users. The apprenticeship allows Trainee Nursing Associates to learn through a combination of learning on the job, theory days in University and placements in various settings. There will be an option in future to top up to Registered Nurse status. The Nursing and Midwifery Council have also agreed that Nurse Associates will be registered for the future.

Apprenticeships enable employers to pay for training using their Apprenticeship Levy providing a key resource to upskill existing and new member of the workforce. For apprentices, they have an opportunity to qualify and earn whilst they learn by contextualise their learning in the healthcare setting that they are employed in.

Pictured: Lynda Smithies (module lead) with our Nursing Associates at Keele Hall on their first day