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Chief nurse calls for apprenticeships push

Published: 13 February 2020 at 12:06

Ruth May, Emma Burgess and Lorraine Szeremeta

Ruth May met ARU Nursing Apprentice graduates at Addenbrooke’s Hospital

Chief nursing officer for England, Ruth May, congratulated Nursing Apprenticeship graduates from Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) – amongst the first in the country – as she called on NHS Trusts to increase the number of apprenticeships in the health service.

A total of 17 nurses who recently completed the four-year course at ARU attended the event at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CUH) along with guests including chair of Health Education England Sir David Behan, a former chief executive of the Care Quality Commission.

The nurses, all former healthcare support workers, undertook a mix of on-the-job training on hospital wards and classroom studies at ARU to earn their BSc (Hons) Nursing Degrees.

The Trust paid apprentices an annual wage and covered their tuition fees – giving them a unique opportunity to earn while they learn at Addenbrooke’s hospital, and sample university life.

The Trust intends to offer 100 places per year through the nursing apprenticeship and nursing associate pathways.

Tony Calvey, Deputy Head of School for Nursing and Midwifery at ARU, said:

“We are very excited about this new pathway into nursing, which allows people who might not otherwise have chosen a career in nursing to undertake a course that suits their needs. As well as vital hands-on experience, they enjoy all the benefits of university life.”

Among those delighted to become a registered nurse was Lauren Payne, who said of her apprenticeship: “It gives people the chance to develop and become a nurse over a longer period without the added financial pressure. It was a good way of developing and retaining staff in our department.”


CUH chief nurse, Lorraine Szeremeta, said:

“I am delighted we have been able to support this group of dedicated individuals, all of whom were previously working with us as healthcare support workers. They have worked so hard to achieve their goal to become registered nurses, and I’m incredibly proud of them all.”