Nursing Apprenticeship Guide

Written by EAA Editor
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Are you interested in a nursing apprenticeship? Have a read of our helpful guide. While some people still hold the belief that apprenticeships are solely in construction, the reality is hundreds of industries now utilise apprenticeships. This includes many roles in the medical profession, such as nursing.

All nursing programmes are practical courses that combine academic study with practical experience in nursing. However, nursing apprenticeships focus specifically on giving students nursing experience in the form of a real job, with a real wage!

Nursing is a degree which trains students to work in the healthcare profession. Nurses support families, communities and individuals with a range of medical practices. For example, preparing patients for operations, administering drugs and injections, and staying on top of patient records. According to the NHS, Nursing is one of the most employable degrees, with 94% of graduates getting a job within six months of graduating.

What is a nursing apprenticeship? 

The NHS offers a Level 6 Nursing degree Apprenticeship which takes around 3 to 4 years to complete. A degree apprenticeship means that students will receive the practical training needed to become a nurse and receive a complete nursing degree from a UK university.

An apprenticeship is a partnership between a UK university and a local NHS trust which act as the employer. Each NHS trust can set the parameters of the apprenticeship, so make sure to check the details of nursing apprenticeships near you. The NHS trust you are training with may then offer you a full-time job as a registered nurse.

During a nursing apprenticeship, the NHS employee apprentices as a full-time member of staff. As you progress through the apprenticeship, your employer will give you more responsibility as a nurse. For example, beginning as a Healthcare support worker until you have completed your first block of training and subsequent qualification.

Where can I do one? 

As previously mentioned, an NHS Degree Apprenticeship in nursing is in partnership with a UK university which means students will work at the location of your university. Keep an eye on the NHS website for available nursing apprenticeships; they will advertise each university place as a separate vacancy. You can also search for nursing apprenticeships on the UCAS website, where you will find information on various university programmes.

Nursing apprenticeship vs Nursing at University 

The main difference between going to university to study nursing and doing an apprenticeship is that on a nursing apprenticeship, your employer (the NHS trust) covers the cost of your training, meaning you have no student debt. As well as this, your employer pays you an apprenticeship wage while you train. This means that a nursing apprenticeship is a much more accessible method of training. It ensures a wider variety of people can access nurse training without being held back by finances.

Another key difference is that a university course has a stronger academic focus, meaning you will have to complete more rigorous academic work such as essays and exams. This style of teaching may suit some people who are interested in the scientific knowledge side of nursing, as well as the practical training.

To find live apprenticeship vacancies, have a look at our apprenticeship board.

Last Updated: Thursday June 3 2021
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