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Hospital launches cadet apprenticeship to help build nursing workforce


A Lincolnshire trust has launched a national recruitment campaign for aspiring nursing cadets to train through a healthcare support worker apprenticeship.

United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust wants to attract 15 nursing cadet apprentices, to start at the organisation’s Pilgrim Hospital, Boston from October on its new programme.

The apprentices will be employed by the trust and will train for 13 months by completing placements across a range of wards and departments.

“The nursing cadet programme provides individuals with…opportunities for progression from cadet through the various roles up to registered nurse”

Claire Flavell

They will be taught under the direction of a registered nurse and will work with members of the multi-disciplinary team.

After completing the programme they will have achieved a level 2 health care support worker apprenticeship qualification.

Those behind the programme said it was hoped the apprentices would consider taking up fast-track training to become a registered nurse after they finish the cadet scheme.

The scheme is part of Lincolnshire Talent Academy, an initiative set up by a number of local healthcare employers in 2015 to work with schools and colleges to help kick-start careers in the NHS. However there is no age limit for those applying to the cadet scheme.

Claire Flavell, strategic lead for Lincolnshire Talent Academy, said: “With a shortage of nurses across the country, it’s vital that we look at how we can grow and nurture our own local talent within Lincolnshire.

“The nursing cadet programme provides individuals with an entry route into nursing, which offers opportunities for progression from cadet through the various roles up to registered nurse, utilising the apprenticeship programme and our fast track progression routes.”

“Our vision is to create a talent pipeline of aspiring individuals who are supported to fulfil their potential within the Lincolnshire health and care community. The creation of our nursing cadet programme provides the foundation for our future nursing workforce,” she added. 

The trust is receiving applications for the cadet apprenticeship scheme until 20 August.


Readers' comments (7)

  • Sensible strategy well done Lincolnshire for this idea however there was a cadet scheme in the 70s hope they will get paid to encourage recruitment tho not bursary or loans

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  • The more we change the more we stay the same! If it helps recruitment and attracts young people who want to care it will be great

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  • I heard of my old trusts plans for a 4 year RN course based on the old style training supported by University theory, with no fees and students would be paid. At last an option for those who are more than capable of nursing at a standard expected, but no burden of debt. As long as there is better support into the understanding of the theory and being able to write those meaningless 5000 word wishy washy essays which really do nothing to demonstrate the practicalities of nursing. If it is successful I may try and steer my daughter back to health care. My view of current state of nursing education was shared by my daughter (luckily). A very good HCA who was sadly lost to the NHS due to the way she was treated by Staff Nurses on a very busy orthopaedic ward.

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  • I was a cadet nurse in the late 60s at the age of 16 to 18. It was fabulous and I learned so much in preparation for my nurse training - what comes around goes around - but this is good !

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  • Another wheel reinvented. I started as a cadet at Sunderland General in September 1961 aged 16 Retired RGN January 2014

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  • I was also a cadet nurse from 1964-1966 and loved every minute. I am still working now part time, retiring on my 70th, so am in an excellent position to understand how much has changed. However despite so many new developments in medicine the things that have changed the most are peoples' attitudes. Management has become much more approachable, and I think, appreciative of the nurses work. However the public have become much more demanding and disrespectful towards nurses. The government is responsible for the demanding attitude, by raising expectations way above what is achievable. The media is mostly responsible for the negative and disrespectful attitude, and it is that probably along with the high work load and the long shifts that make me so very glad my time is up.

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  • Completely agree with NANNY 1. I was a cadet from 1974 to 1975. I was able to study at college and complete placements in wards and departments (path lab, CSSD) and I loved it. It gave me and others an excellent grounding - we knew what were getting into. That said, I have to agree that the public has expectations way beyond what is achievable and appear happy to abuse those who care for them and their relatives for (what they see as) the slightest infraction. TTO's taking too long? Shout at the nurse. Blood results taking too long? Shout at the nurse. Relative not getting better as quickly as expected? Blame the staff. You only have to watch an episode of Holby City or Casualty to see how nurses are portrayed. If we are not snorting coke in the loo, we are sleeping with the Dr's and being yelled at by recalcitrant visitors. THAT is the public's perception of nursing and nurses.

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