Sport and Health Sciences at Brighton

Claire Barrett student nurse

Qualifying as a nurse through the apprenticeship route

The apprenticeship route combines study with work to achieve degree qualifications with the added bonus of employment in the same field. This allows students to apply what they learn on the programme directly to real-world scenarios.

Having completed the Nursing Associate Higher Apprenticeship, Claire Barrett is now on the Registered Nurse Degree Apprenticeship. Claire tells us how this route is enabling to acheive her nursing career goals whilst supporting a young family.

My studies

“I am currently a student nurse studying at the University of Brighton as an apprentice, which is my second course here! I have completed my second year of the apprenticeship and moving into my final year. Once I have completed the programme I will graduate with a Nursing (Adult) BSc(Hons), having previously been awarded Health and Social Care Practice (Nursing Associate) FdSc in 2022.

“When I am not at university, as part of the apprenticeship programme, I am working as a Registered Nursing Associate within a community nursing team, looking after patients who are housebound.”

Being a Brighton student

“My foundation degree gave me experience in all four fields of nursing and I was able to appreciate different clinical settings while being employed full-time.

“One of my favourite things about the university and the course was meeting lots of different people from different places and backgrounds and sharing our knowledge and experiences to help and aid each other through the course.

“I enjoyed being on campus and all the benefits the University of Brighton had to offer and during my time here I have made lots of new friends who will stay with me forever.”

Why I chose the apprenticeship route

“This was a brilliant way of learning for me as I have a young family and so this enabled me to follow my dreams to become a nursing associate – the combination of employment and studying was important.

“The apprenticeship allowed me to study and have a family. I was not able to be in full-time work and study at the same time without this route. I feel very lucky to be able to undertake two degrees through the apprenticeship programmes.”

Achievement and personal satisfaction

“Since graduating in 2022, I was proud to have been accepted back to the university to study, where I am now at the start of my Registered Nurse Degree Apprenticeship. I am topping up my qualifications from a foundation degree to a BSc honours degree to become a fully registered staff nurse (which is band 5 in the NHS).

“For me, success is personal achievement. If I have succeeded in something that I set out to do, then I have achieved a personal goal and take great pride in this.”

Advice to current and prospective students

“As a current student myself, I would say well done for getting this far. Keep going and no matter how tough it is, there is light at the end of the tunnel, and it is worth the hard work.

“You will have good days and bad days. Take it one day at a time, don’t compare yourself to others, we all learn at different paces, but we all get there. Keep going and believe in yourself.

“To anyone considering the apprenticeship route 100% do it. It’s the best way to study and work and gain vital experience to help you along the way.”

Kerry Burnett • 07/03/2024

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