"The apprenticeship has helped me gain confidence and develop both personally and professionally."
I studied at The University of Sheffield the Nurse associate apprenticeship foundation degree I qualified in January 2021.
I was attracted to this new role because it offered progression in my career - I have 17 years’ service within the NHS as a support worker and phlebotomist and I enjoyed my role, but found that I could not develop professionally.
The apprenticeship has helped me gain confidence, new skills and I have developed both personally and professionally. I believe this will benefit future job roles and employment opportunities in the future.
I found the apprenticeship rewarding by gaining a wide range of knowledge which gives ability to assist caring for patients and understanding their requirements. I enjoyed both the academic side and practical participation and the alternative placements offered an opportunity to see other areas and departments; the base placement for example offered stability and routine in which I felt I was able to learn.
Now that I have qualified as a Band 4 Nurse Associate, I have found that I have more responsibility. I care for 8-10 patients assisting with their personal requirements, I administer medications, communicate with family members, attend multi-disciplinary meetings, admit and discharge patients, make referrals to relevant teams and receive and handover to other staff members.
I would highly recommend the Nursing Associate apprenticeship especially to people already involved in the NHS or care work. The apprenticeship offers opportunities to progress whilst receiving a wage which makes a huge impact on personal life. Now that the course is developing and other NHS staff are aware of trainee nurse associate opportunities and nurse associates roles, I believe that the course will become very popular and expand and offer new openings to people who cannot attend university and pay fees.
My future plans are to work as a Nurse Associate for a year and develop my skills and confidence and apply for the nursing top-up course at Sheffield in 2022.
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