Nursing apprenticeship role announced.

‘Aspiring nurses can soon enrol on a new on-the-job apprenticeship role, the government says.

From September 2017, up to 1,000 NHS staff will be able to take up the training without having to go down the conventional university route to get a nursing degree.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt says it complements the nursing associate role announced a year ago.

Both initiatives aim to offer flexible routes into nursing in England.

They might also give students an affordable way to train, since ministers plan to scrap student bursaries for nurses in September 2017.

Student nurses at university are currently entitled to bursaries of £4,500 to £5,500 if they live in London - on top of a grant of £1,000 each year during their course.
The course fees are also covered.

But the government has proposed scrapping these and introducing university fees to bring health staff in line with other students.’ - BBC

‘Jeremy Hunt will announce a training scheme that will allow 1,000 nursing apprentices to join wards from next year. Unlike traditional nursing students, they will be able to train on the job and earn a wage while completing their studies. They will work with fully qualified nurses and untrained healthcare workers who have joined the workforce under the recently introduced nursing associates scheme.

“Nurses are the lifeblood of our NHS, but the routes to a nursing degree currently shut out some of the most caring, compassionate staff in our country,” Mr Hunt is due to say.

“Not everyone wants to take time off to study full time at university so by creating hundreds of new apprentice nurses we can help healthcare assistants and others reach their potential as a fully trained nurse.”

Researchers argue that allowing health workers to care for patients and carry out nursing tasks increases the risk of death. Unison has said the government must tackle the shortage of nurses, rather than look for “cheap alternatives”.’ – The Times

‘Ministers will also announce plans to regulate so-called “cut-price” nurses, in a separate scheme. 

The role of "nursing associates" is being been created to ease the burden on qualified nurses. However the plans have triggered controversy, with concern that too much responsibility will be given to to those with just two years' training.

Nurse associates will be able to administer controlled drugs, which has sparked fears that the role could compromise patient safety. The first 2,000 associates begin training next month with another 1,000 starting later.

Mr Hunt will announce new safeguards on the role, saying that the nurse associates will be regulated - meaning they could be struck off over failings.’ – Telegraph


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