As hundreds of thousands of students across the country begin their higher education studies at universities and colleges, three young people have begun a nurse degree apprenticeship at The Montefiore Hospital, part of the Spire Healthcare group.
The apprentices are part of a group of 165 who have been taken on by Spire Healthcare across the country, in one of the largest nurse degree apprenticeship programmes ever launched. The programme is designed to train healthcare leaders of the future, at a time when many nurses have left the profession following the pandemic, and there are skill shortages across all providers of healthcare.
The nurse degree apprenticeship is being run in partnership with the University of Sunderland and combines study and assessments with on-site placements to gain practical knowledge. The apprenticeship lasts between two and five years, depending on the individual’s prior experience, and apprentices gain a BSc degree on completion. Uniquely for a healthcare apprenticeship, training is provided at a national, rather than regional level.
The programme is open to applicants at all stages of life, including school leavers, university graduates and people looking to retrain and the new apprentices range in age between 18 and 58.
Max Ardron, 26, from Brighton, switched careers from working in animation and video to take up the apprenticeship at The Montefiore. He said: “I’ve always been interested in nursing and this is such a great opportunity. I am really enjoying it so far especially working with patients and everyone at the hospital has been so supportive. It was a big gamble to change careers but there hasn’t been a moment yet that I have regretted it.”
Rachel Dixon, The Montefiore’s managing director said: “We’re determined to play our part in training the clinicians of the future and we don’t know of any other healthcare provider that is investing so heavily in apprentices. We’re really excited that Max and the other apprentices have chosen to join us here at The Montefiore and I’m sure that they all have a bright future ahead of them.”
The appeal of apprenticeships has risen in recent years as an alternative to traditional university degree route, as a result of the increasing cost to students of going down the academic route.
“This is such a great opportunity” – Max Ardron, one of the new apprentices at The Montefiore Hospital,. Pictured left to right are nurse apprentices - Christian Baldock, Yasmine Jones, Max Ardron, and Nathan Taylor, Resuscitation and Higher Observational Care Lead/ Charge Nurse.