A Norfolk hospital says it has developed a ground-breaking apprenticeship scheme as part of efforts to “grow its own” workforce and tackling staffing shortages.
The Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn NHS Foundation Trust is offering up to 12 places on its new Aspiring Nurses Apprenticeship, which it says offers an alternative route into professional nursing qualifications.
“Our new initiative has been developed as part of the trust’s sustainable nursing strategy to continue to maintain staffing levels on wards,” said director of HR Gerry Dryden.
“This new route into a nursing career is particularly beneficial to aspiring nurses who do not want to train on the more traditional path,” he said.
During the 52-week programme, students will spend four days per week learning in the hospital environment and one day studying for a Diploma in Health and other qualifications in IT, literacy and numeracy and employment rights.
“Our new initiative has been developed as part of the trust’s sustainable nursing strategy”
While on the programme, participants will be encouraged to apply for potential positions at the Queen Elizabeth when their course ends.
Applicants must be aged 16 or over and ideally have five good GCSEs grades A to C including English and Maths.
They must not already have a Level 4 qualification or above, or have a degree.
Mr Dryden said the programme was among a package of initiatives to recruit new nurses.
“So far this year the trust has continued recruitment programmes overseas and has held several nurse recruitment events in King’s Lynn and nearby towns,” he said.
“This latest opening only further seeks to employ people from the local community and I look forward to welcoming ambitious budding nurses to the trust in September,” he added.
The Norfolk initiative follows moves nationally to look at providing healthcare assistants with a fast-track into registered nursing, due to the current nurse shortage.