Nurse leaders of the future start degree apprenticeship at Spire Healthcare

30 September 2021

As hundreds of thousands of students across the country begin their higher education studies at universities and colleges, 165 people have begun a nurse degree apprenticeship at Spire Healthcare’s network of 35 hospitals across England.

Spire Healthcare’s nurse degree apprenticeship programme represents one of the largest to ever be launched. The programme is designed to train healthcare leaders of the future, at a time when many nurses have left the profession following the pandemic, and there are skill shortages across all providers of healthcare.

The nurse degree apprenticeship is being run in partnership with the University of Sunderland and combines study and assessments with on-site placements to gain practical knowledge. The apprenticeship lasts between two and five years, depending on the individual’s prior experience, and apprentices gain a BSc degree on completion. Uniquely for a healthcare apprenticeship, training is provided at a national, rather than regional level.

The programme is open to applicants at all stages of life, including school leavers, university graduates and people looking to retrain and across the country. Spire Healthcare’s new apprentices range in age between 18 and 58.

Leon Cheung, one of Spire Healthcare’s new apprentices, said: “I’ve been inspired by the amazing work that everyone in healthcare has done during the pandemic, and this made me want to become a nurse myself.  I have had a fantastic welcome from everyone here at Spire and am really looking forward to getting stuck in with my apprenticeship.”

Shelley Thomas, Group HR Director at Spire Healthcare, said: “Here at Spire Healthcare, we’re determined to play our part in training the clinicians of the future and we don’t know of any other healthcare provider that is investing so heavily in apprentices. We’re really excited that these apprentices have chosen to join Spire Healthcare and am sure that they all have a bright future in healthcare ahead of them.”

The appeal of apprenticeships has risen in recent years as an alternative to traditional university degree route, as a result of the increasing cost to students of going down the academic route.