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University launches its first degree apprenticeship programme

Posted on 12 November 2019

A new apprenticeship programme to train Nursing Associates has been launched by the Department of Health Sciences, University of York.

The Foundation Degree in Science in Health and Social Care: Nursing Associate is the first apprenticeship programme to be approved and run by the University.

Nursing Associates have been introduced to address a skills gap between health and care assistants and registered nurses. The new programme has also been fully approved by the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) which regulates all nursing and midwifery education programmes.

Nursing Associates work with people of all ages and in a variety of settings in health and social care. The role will contribute to the core work of nursing, and the programme prepares students to work alongside healthcare assistants and registered nurses to deliver and evaluate hands-on care.

The apprenticeship is a two-year, full-time programme and will start in December 2019. In addition to working in clinical practice settings, learners will attend University for one day a week. Upon successful completion, Nursing Associate apprentices will receive a Level 5 qualification and entry on to the Nursing Associate register with the NMC.

Paul Galdas, Professor of Nursing & Deputy Head of Department (Nursing & Midwifery) said: “I’m immensely proud of the team who have designed this innovative new apprenticeship programme. Nursing Associates will play a vital role in the healthcare workforce in Yorkshire and Humber, and it’s crucial that our health professional education provision is responsive to the needs of our local healthcare partners”.

The programme will be led by Linda Currie, Lecturer in Adult Nursing. Linda said: “I’m thrilled to be leading the new apprenticeship Nursing Associate programme and look forward to welcoming our new intake in December.”

Brian Culleton, Head of Apprenticeships said: “The rapid embracing of degree apprenticeships by the university sector is exceptional, with over 8,000 degree apprentices starting a Level 6 or Level 7 apprenticeship since they were introduced. The University of York is also embracing this opportunity by developing and offering degree apprenticeships across a range of specialisms.

"In addition to our Nursing Associate apprenticeship programme, we are intending to introduce our Advanced Clinical Practitioner Level 7 apprenticeship in 2020 with other programmes proposed to launch from 2021 onwards. All of our programmes actively encourage programme co-development with our employer partners as it is our view that no-one understands their own skills needs better than employers.”

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