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Nursing Associates: rising NHS stars

Faculty: Health, Medicine and Social Care
School: School of Nursing and Midwifery
Course: FdSc Nursing Associate
Category: Nursing and midwifery

31 January 2022

Dani in nurses' uniform

For National Apprenticeship Week 2022 we're hearing from degree apprentice students. Danielle tells us her journey to becoming an award-winning Nurse Associate via her nursing apprenticeship.

ARU launched its Nursing Associate higher apprentice role in 2017. The role is as an additional tier in the nursing profession that bridges the gap between Healthcare Assistants and Registered Nurses.

The new Nursing Associate role creates a pathway for career progression and an additional route to becoming a Registered Nurse.

This opportunity has allowed ARU Nursing Associates to not only progress their careers but to rise above and beyond their roles particularly though a global pandemic.

We were delighted to interview Danielle, Peterborough Apprenticeship Rising Star Award Winner and North West Anglia NHS  Foundation Trust and ARU Nursing Associate to tell us her journey to becoming an award-winning Nurse Associate!

Why did you choose the Nursing Associate apprenticeship?

I had a lifelong dream to work in the field of nursing as I have been inspired by others within the profession. I wanted a career where I could make a difference to others. I heard about the new opportunity of Nursing Associate that ARU was offering. With ARU being modern and culturally diverse university and the option to earn and learn, it made it possible for me to achieve my nursing goal as I have a young family to support.

What opportunities has the apprenticeship given you in your role?

It has given me opportunities to learn about the different healthcare settings through the different placements I have been on. These placements and the study alongside have secured me permanent employment and confidence in my abilities.

How do you feel you have added value to your work and the wider team?

My commitment to my learning and with the skills and knowledge I have gained, I was able to support other areas within my employment during the covid pandemic. I supported the Relative Communications Team when visiting wasn’t allowed in the hospital. I helped to support the patient experience, bridging the gap between the patients and their families, giving daily support and reassurance. I also developed an information board for patients and staff to access support during the height of the pandemic.

What have you found most rewarding about the apprenticeship?

Working alongside my peers in the journey to become Nursing Associate, by learning together and sharing experiences we have had.

I feel privileged to have had tutors with vast knowledge and skills to be my role models throughout my training.

I have gained skills and knowledge from the course that has shaped me into the Nursing Associate that I am today. It has shown me the value of care and compassion, and how every contact counts. I have been given a fantastic opportunity that I hope to fulfil.

How do you feel about being shortlisted and winning the rising star award at the Peterborough Apprenticeship Awards?

I was extremely honoured to be nominated for the awards, and to have been noticed for all my hard work and achievements over the last two years by ARU and NWAFT. It’s a wonderful feeling to win and I hope it will inspire others to follow their dreams.

Published to mark National Apprenticeship Week 2022, and its theme Build the Future.

If you've been inspired by Danielle’s story, find out more about our Nursing Associate Higher Apprenticeship and other degree apprentice courses.


The views expressed here are those of the individual and do not necessarily represent the views of Anglia Ruskin University. If you've got any concerns please contact us.