The Prince of Wales and the Royal College of Nursing have launched a scheme to give young people in uniformed originations, such as the army cadets, an introduction to nursing and the NHS.
The RCN Prince of Wales Nursing Cadet Scheme is intended to “inspire” young people, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, by giving them access to opportunities for academic study and hands-on experience in the health sector.
“Nursing requires dedication and a strong sense of public service, but it offers huge opportunities”
It will enable young people to make a “valuable contribution” to society and contribute to the health and well-being within their local communities and beyond, said those behind the idea.
The scheme is being piloted across the whole of Wales this year, in partnership with the Army Cadet Force in Wales, with a view to wider UK rollout in the future.
It combines 105 hours of guided and experiential learning with clinical observational placements within the cadets’ local healthcare area and will initially be open to 18 cadets aged 16 to 25.
Once cadets have successfully completed the foundation phase, they will be offered a guaranteed interview for a healthcare support worker position.
HRH the Prince of Wales, who has given his personal backing to the initiative, launched the scheme with RCN chief executive Dame Donna Kinnair at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital, Llantrisant.
“This new scheme will give some our finest young people a taste of what they can offer our profession”
The pair met with cadets who have joined the scheme, including Elora Campbell, Olivia Lewis, Luke Hazel and Tegan Ingham.
Dame Donna said: “Nursing requires dedication and a strong sense of public service, but it offers huge opportunities for people from all walks of life to make a real difference.
She said: “This new scheme will give some our finest young people, especially those from less privileged backgrounds, a taste of what they can offer our profession – and what it can give them in return”.
Following completion of the foundation programme and, dependent on the level of education completed prior to undertaking the programme, cadets will be eligible to undertake further study.
Options for further study include:
- Agored Cymru Level 3 Diploma Royal College of Nursing Cadet programme with the Agored Cymru Level 4 Certificate in Healthcare Reflective Practice. This will be offered via Neath Port Talbot College
- A two-year level 3 diploma programme to be delivered by a further education establishment
- A level 2 diploma programme, e.g. BTEC Health and Social Care, delivered by a further education provider
Cadets in Wales who successfully complete the RCN Diploma programme will be offered a guaranteed interview for a nursing degree programme at a Welsh University.