"The experience that we get from the placements is amazing and very hard to come by."

Female Apprentice smiling at camera with glasses
Ellie Simpson
Nursing Associate Apprenticeship
My name is Ellie Simpson and I have recently qualified as a Nurse Associate after completing the Nursing Associate foundation degree apprenticeship.
Female Apprentice smiling at camera with glasses

I was first attracted to doing the course as I already worked within primary care in a GP surgery as a Healthcare Assistant (HCA). Since starting my career within the NHS I knew I wanted to be a registered nurse, however doing this via the full time university route, just wasn’t suitable for me. When I started the TNA course, the Nurse apprenticeship wasn’t around so this was the perfect opportunity to begin the next stage of my career. 

The apprenticeship has helped me to develop my employability skills by giving me the underpinning knowledge and skills on what makes a good team and how my role and I as an individual, fits into a team. I have learned how to communicate more efficiently especially when escalating my patients to a more senior colleague. 

My favourite part of the apprenticeship was going out on the alternative placements. The experience that we get from the placements is amazing and very hard to come by. I have had placements in mental health hospitals, a hospice, respiratory ward, stroke ward, frailty ward, haematology ward and A&E! During the course I have also met some amazing people that I won’t forget, including the tutors and our fabulous clinical educators! Don’t get me wrong there has been some stressful times, trying to juggle home life and work life whilst trying to write assignments but now I've qualified, the stressful times are definitely worth it!

I have recently graduated and started my role as a Registered Nurse Associate (that feels good to say that finally!). I work in general practice and I wasn’t sure how the role would fit but it has fit right in! I have started my cytology training, contraception training, complex wound care, COPD and asthma training and diabetes training. I am going to be able to support the nurses with delivering the care plans whilst they can concentrate on the complex patients. 

I would 100% recommend anyone at any age doing the apprenticeship! I will always fly the flag for the apprenticeship route. I hated school when I was younger and could never concentrate. I began a job in a warehouse which I absolutely hated as it didn’t keep my mind busy. I never really knew what I wanted to do in life but I knew the warehouse life wasn’t for me. I started working in the care industry for a career and really enjoyed it. I began working at my GP surgery back in 2016 as a HCA and well this is when I fell in love with the idea of nursing. I had my own house, husband and dog, so the idea of going to uni full time just wasn’t financially viable. I jumped at the chance to begin the TNA course. I started the course off being a young immature girl going 100 miles an hour at everything. Now I have graduated as a mature woman and I see things more as a whole picture and take my time. 

My future career plans have already started as I have now landed a place on the nurse top up course starting March and I cannot wait to get started, although I am dreading the assignments again! Maybe next time I carry out this interview you’ll be speaking to Nurse Simpson!

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