I have more effective communication skills within different fields of nursing.

Simon McFarlane - nursing apprentice in uniform
Simon McFarlane
Nursing Associate Apprenticeship
Simon McFarlane completed his nursing apprenticeship in 2020 and is now running his own physical health clinic for adults with learning disabilities. Read on to find out more about his experiences studying his apprenticeship at the University of Sheffield.
Simon McFarlane - nursing apprentice in uniform

What was the name of your degree Apprenticeship?  My Degree was for Nursing Associate Foundation Degree which I completed in 2020.

What attracted you to the Apprenticeship? The ability to still be able to earn a full time wage, whilst learning and gaining experiences in other fields of nursing. It was also to refresh my academic skills as a mature student.

How do you feel the Apprenticeship has helped you develop your employability skills? It has made me look at things in a more professional manner and be able to have more effective communication skills within different fields of nursing. I have also developed my public speaking and the ability to talk to other professionals more effectively.

What did you particularly enjoy about the Apprenticeship? I enjoyed the diversity and being taken out of my comfort zone to learn new skills, as well as having the opportunity to work in different settings to enhance my knowledge.

In your current role, tell us more about your role and responsibilities? I am now able to run my own physical health clinic for adults with learning disabilities, as well as doing dementia assessments and involvement in best interest decisions; as well as completing learning disability screening to assess whether or not the individual has a learning disability, and then signposting them to the appropriate team.

Would you recommend the Apprenticeship and why? I would recommend an apprenticeship as it gives on the job training whilst being paid, so you have a nice work-home balance. It also gives you the opportunity to look at different aspects of the jobs you are interested in, to help you make an informed decision where you future career path will be.

What are your future career plans? I would like to top up my degree to complete my nurse training and later become a learning disabilities nurse.

A world-class university – a unique student experience

Sheffield is a research university with a global reputation for excellence. We're a member of the Russell Group: one of the 24 leading UK universities for research and teaching.