• Around 1,000 a year will combine on-the-job training and a degree
• Officials expect 18-year-olds fresh out of school to apply for the scheme
• Plan marks departure from current system, introduced five years ago
Would-be nurses can soon enrol for new on-the-job apprenticeships from September 2017 instead of going down the conventional university route.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt says it complements both initiatives aimed to offer flexible routes into nursing in England, since minister’s plan to scrap student bursaries for nurses. “Not everyone wants to take time off to study full time at university, so by creating hundreds of new apprentice nurses, we can help healthcare assistants and others reach their potential as a fully trained nurse.”
The government has proposed to stop covering nursing university fees to bring health staff in line with other students.
However, trainees on the apprenticeship scheme will typically be funded by the trust they work for and can join the course at different stages, depending on their qualifications and experience, and stay in work while learning.
How long will this type of apprenticeship take? 5 years. At which time a nurse apprentice will have a nursing degree with the combined required training.
Janet Davies, Chief Executive of the Royal College of Nursing said, “We must be careful we do not create a two-tier system which reduces equality of opportunity… [in the past] student nurses were often seen as nursing on the cheap. We need to attract people of all ages and from diverse backgrounds into the profession.”
This is a new and exciting route into nursing that is open to more people whether they are working within the NHS already or not.
Could this lead to a potential issue with university elitism, where one learning route is at a disadvantage?
Would you rather have done an apprenticeship than a nursing degree?
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