Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is trying to encourage healthcare assistants to enrol on a nursing degree course by offering them part-time work while they train.
HCAs will be able to continue working at the trust while doing a four-year Open University degree. The course allows participants to study at home while continuing to work two or three days a week.
“The feedback we have received from the first cohort of students has been extremely positive”
The trust said the new initiative was a way to bring more qualified nurses to Great Western Hospital in Swindon and its community settings across Wiltshire.
Vanessa Ongley, education facilitator at the trust, said: “Financial burdens often deter HCAs from returning to full time education, but this programme allows them to study while being able to stay at work.
“The feedback we have received from the first cohort of students has been extremely positive,” she added.
Emma Stokes, a nursing auxiliary who took part in the initial pilot programme for the scheme, said: “Working within a hospital environment gave me the confidence to apply for the student nurse position and it was encouraging to have support from fellow colleagues.”