About

What the apprenticeship is

The Registered Nurse Degree Apprenticeship (RNDA) will give you a chance to study for a qualification that will enable you to become a registered nurse. Both adult nursing and mental health nursing will be available.

What’s in it for you

The programme will give you the opportunity to study for a nursing degree and qualify as a nurse whilst being paid with no tuition fees to pay.

Eligibility
“A life changing opportunity to be able to embark on a new career, become qualified, get hands on practical experience while earning an affordable income to support my family.”

Eligibility

What we need

To apply for a RNDA, you will need to:

  • be aged 18 or over at the start of the programme

  • have grade C/4 or above in GCSE English and Mathematics or equivalent at point of application

  • have 3 A-level’s at grade C or above or equivalent, or level 3 study recognised to be sufficient for entry (this may include a full level 3 Apprenticeship or Access to Higher Education). Any qualifications that are pending need to be achieved by summer 2021.

We welcome applications from people who have experience or who are new to healthcare. If you are an existing member of staff we would encourage you to speak with your education teams.

Tell me more
“Challenging but exceptionally rewarding, this apprenticeship was the only way I could go into nursing and I’m so grateful for this opportunity.”

Information

Specifics of the role

Where

The course will combine university study alongside working as an apprentice in healthcare settings in Dorset.

This means you could be placed in:

We will ask you to state a preference for your main base of work, however you should be prepared to work anywhere in Dorset and will be expected to move around different services and sites for placements to gain a full range of experiences.

As well as working as part of the team delivering care at your home base, you will also experience placement opportunities at various locations where you’ll develop the skills to become a registered nurse.
Course providers

The university study will be provided by either:

Contract

The three and a half year programme will start in September 2021 and is full time, 37.5 hours per week:

  • 7.5 hours (1 day) university study
  • 30 hours working shifts in a healthcare setting.
You
“It’s been an incredible privilege to start working in the NHS as a registered nurse apprentice.”

You

The type of person we are looking for

Are you resilient and up for the challenge?

Are you looking for a fulfilling career and professional qualification?

Are you keen to go to university but are concerned about the costs?

Are you someone who has always dreamed of being a nurse and are thinking about a career change?

We are looking for people who care about people and their wellbeing and want to make a difference.

Hear from some of our previous apprentices:

“A life changing opportunity to be able to embark on a new career, become qualified, get hands on practical experience while earning an affordable income to support my family.”

“Hard work and dedication does pay off and this opportunity really reflects that”

“Thank you for such a great opportunity, we are so lucky to have a wide breadth of knowledge both as a student nurse and a health care assistant.”

“When I was little I wanted to be a nurse but struggled with exams. This programme has made that dream come true, no matter how hard it may be at times, it’s a great learning method.”

“Best decision I have ever made, it’s been tough but has changed my life for the better. I wouldn’t be able to do this without the help of the apprenticeship.”

“It’s been an incredible privilege to start working in the NHS as a registered nurse apprentice.”

“Such an eye opening apprenticeship that is one of a kind, will be forever grateful!”

“Challenging but exceptionally rewarding, this apprenticeship was the only way I could go into nursing and I’m so grateful for this opportunity.”

“In the short amount of time I’ve been on the course I believe I have changed so much for the better! I feel more confident in myself, it’s also given me the opportunity to learn so much everyday! I’m so grateful for this opportunity.”

Our Nurses

Our nurses

Hear from some of our current apprentices:

Why did you want to do the Nurse Degree Apprenticeship?

I’ve always been interested in helping those with mental health difficulties due to helping those close to me for a majority of my life. I did medical science at college and continued to want to do mental health, volunteering for different things and continuing to help those around me. When I heard about the apprenticeship I knew I had to apply and did so and luckily I got it!

How have you benefitted from the Nurse Degree Apprenticeship?

I have benefitted massively from the apprenticeship, I have learnt so much about different mental health problems that people face, different medications and also things that can lead up to having these difficulties that would result in being admitted to a PICU or involved with a community team. Not only has this experience been amazing from a learning point of view but another positive from the apprenticeship would be the supportive team around me at my placement in community, my peers on the apprenticeship and most importantly the team in my home base who always encourage me and look after myself and wellbeing.

What have been your biggest challenges/successes?

Over the last year working predominantly in a PICU I’ve had many challenges and successes, this was my first job and so that was a challenge in itself however, since starting back in September I’ve developed so much as a person and a student. Within the apprenticeship itself, I found the roles slightly difficult to balance at the beginning although, as the apprenticeship has progressed and I have developed more in both roles and now feel confident in both. After working in PICU for 6 months I found the move to community difficult however, over time I began really enjoying shadowing members of the team I was in as well as visiting other teams and wards.

Jordan-Leigh, Registered Nurse Degree Apprentice

Why did you want to do the Nurse Degree Apprenticeship?

I wanted to do the Nurse Degree Apprenticeship because it was a role that I knew would set me up for a life-long career doing something extremely rewarding that benefits others and myself in so many ways. I wasn’t sure which career path I wanted to take but when I saw the apprenticeship advertised I applied straight away because I couldn’t turn down the opportunity! I also liked the idea of the apprenticeship route as opposed to the usual university route because it means I am learning on the job through the whole four years of training, so I’m getting a lot more experience before qualifying.

How have you benefitted from the Nurse Degree Apprenticeship?

I have nearly finished my first year of the apprenticeship and it has already benefitted me in so many ways. Having completed my A-Levels just last summer, this role has guided me into the world of work and has meant that I am lucky enough to already be saving money for my future. This time last year, I would never have viewed myself as being capable of what I’m doing now but doing this apprenticeship has helped me grow so much as a person, and I’m so grateful to have this role.

What have been your biggest challenges/successes?

My biggest challenge when first starting the apprenticeship was my confidence levels. I knew that this was a big barrier I had to face but from my very first day I have felt so supported by my colleagues and peers so I felt part of the team very quickly. My biggest success has been everything I have learnt so far in my first year! I am learning something new every day whilst working on the ward and I love that every day is so different. Looking back now on how apprehensive I was when applying for the apprenticeship, I’m so glad I did as I really couldn’t imagine myself in any other career!

Chloe, Registered Nurse Degree Apprentice

Why did you want to do the Nurse Degree Apprenticeship?

My journey towards the Nurse Degree Apprenticeship has been a bit unorthodox! It started when I was looking for some part-time work while I worked towards my PhD in Literature and, keen to work with the NHS, applied to work for Dorset Healthcare University Foundation Trust.  After one short-term position, I found myself working in an administrative role in Bournemouth East CMHT.  I was immediately overwhelmed with interest and admiration for the team that I encountered: so many brilliant, ethically-centred people with such wide-ranging expertise all in one place. With the incredible support of my manager, and of the team, I moved from an administrative role into the role of a Support, Time, Recovery worker – the first time I had felt that I was working in a role that used all of my skills, engaged the whole of my being, and also gave me a true sense of fulfilment in knowing that I was doing something meaningful. After some time in this role, and having considered other possibilities like psychological training, I realised I knew that I wanted to be a nurse.  For me, mental health nursing is a unique, complex, multi-faceted vocation, that brings together a pragmatic, “grass roots” mode of working, that enables us, as nurses, to get alongside the people that we work with in their unique situations, whatever those may be, with elements of psychological therapies and approaches, elements of socially-oriented work, elements of psychiatric insight and medicinal therapies, and elements of recovery-oriented interventions. I honestly can’t think of a more fascinating or fulfilling profession, and that is why I wanted to do the Nurse Degree Apprenticeship.

How have you benefitted from the Nurse Degree Apprenticeship?

As someone who had already completed two degrees (BA, MA), the Nurse Degree Apprenticeship offered me a financially and academically viable way of training to become a nurse, and without it I would almost certainly not have been able to pursue this training which has meant so much to me.  It has allowed me to learn in an embedded way, studying ideas, concepts and approaches in a way that is constantly enriched by my day-to-day practice and the practice that I see around me.  It has enabled me to gain a lot of my learning from the incredible experts around me – all of the nurses, social workers, STRs and occupational therapists in our team; and I see this learning as absolutely invaluable.  I have had the opportunity to work in a multitude of different settings under different mentors, which has allowed me to develop a wide range of skills and insights that I will take forward in my work. The Apprenticeship mode of learning has, for me, been much richer, subtler and more engaging than an approach that is primarily textbook or classroom based, and provides an excellent foundation for practice in the future.

What have been your biggest challenges / successes?

Mostly my biggest challenges have also been my biggest successes!  The most recent of these was establishing my team’s first online therapy group (the DBT-based Life Skills Group) using GoToMeeting.  I secured a license for this, produced a workbook and, with a colleague, worked on producing weekly sessions.  The webinar was a success, and since this pilot the team has begun running other online groups and will likely continue using this format going forward.  Prior to this I worked as an OU student representative, alongside the three other representatives, to organise and run a student wellbeing conference.  I also did a presentation on mindfulness as part of this conference.  The conference was well-attended, and had a good range of speakers including those from NICE, Livewell Dorset, Occupational Health and the Recovery Education Centre.  Finally, my first big challenge came in working in an inpatient setting which was so different to the community setting that I am used to.  It involved a huge adjustment for me, but as I made that adjustment successfully over the course of a 3-month placement, I also gained a large number of skills that have improved my practice and understanding of mental health.

Lori, Registered Nurse Degree Apprentice

Why did you want to do the Nurse Degree Apprenticeship?

I wanted to do the Nurse Degree Apprenticeship as I wanted to have a rewarding and fulfilling career and as a naturally caring and compassionate person a role within healthcare was best suited for me. The Nurse Degree Apprenticeship also allows me to be able to work alongside studying, allowing me to both benefit from learning the support worker and Nurse role.

How have you benefitted from the Nurse Degree Apprenticeship?

I have benefited from the Nurse Degree Apprenticeship in so many different ways. Overall, the Apprenticeship has enabled me to become a more confident person, both in my professional and personal life.  The team that I work with have been amazingly supportive and encourage me to step out of my comfort zone and get involved in new experiences and opportunities.

 

What have been your biggest challenges/successes?

One of my biggest challenges was first starting. I had no healthcare background and knew little to nothing about healthcare and what to expect, because of this I found the first few months very daunting and put myself down for not getting things right first time (I’m a bit of a perfectionist). However, all I needed was time and experience to understand what to do and understand my role as a Nurse Degree Apprentice.

One of my biggest successes is having a career that I love and enjoy, being able to help and care for people often when they are at their lowest and most vulnerable. Getting to experience new situations and learn new skills every single shift, and constantly being able to grow and develop personally and professionally.

Morwenna, Registered Nurse Degree Apprentice

Events

Information events

Due to current circumstances we are unable to hold open days and evenings therefore we are including the film taken at one of the open evenings held last year.

This was filmed in January 2020 therefore all of the spoken information was correct at the time of filming. The slides have been updated to reflect any changes to the process and programme for September 2021.

Please note:

  • Royal Bournemouth Hospital is now part of University Hospitals Dorset which encompasses sites in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole
  • The course starts in September 2021
  • Salary is dependent upon employer
  • The university that you will attend will depend upon employer
  • There are opportunities in University Hospitals Dorset, Dorset Healthcare, Dorset County Hospital and Primary Care (general practice) – placements may be in any of these organisations and could include care homes
  • Applications are open between 1st March and 23rd March 2021
  • Interviews will take place in May and June 2021
  • All qualifications must be included and specified clearly on your application form including Maths and English
“In the short amount of time I’ve been on the course I believe I have changed so much for the better! I feel more confident in myself, it’s also given me the opportunity to learn so much every day! I’m so grateful for this opportunity.”

Applications are now closed

Interviews will be held between the 17th May and 8th June 2021 (subject to change) with the employer and Bournemouth or Solent University via Microsoft Teams.  Please note that interview dates may change. Please ensure you have decided which field you would like to study in before application, either adult nursing or mental health nursing.

Apply for an Adult Nursing Apprenticeship
Apply for a Mental Health Nursing Apprenticeship
“Thank you for such a great opportunity, we are so lucky to have a wide breadth of knowledge both as a student nurse and a health care assistant.”

FAQ

Frequently asked questions

Nurses work as part of a team and provide direct patient care. They work in a variety of settings, including hospital wards, operating theatres, clinics, doctors’ surgeries and patients’ homes. Nurse apprentices will work in a main place of work, undertake study and also have a variety of clinical placements during their apprenticeship.

Yes! All applicants are welcome.

For more information on opportunities for existing healthcare staff, please speak with your education department.

Dorset is offering two fields of nurse training as an apprenticeship – mental health nursing and adult nursing.

Yes, upon completion of the apprenticeship you will become a Graduate Registered Nurse.  This will be exactly the same degree as anyone attending university full time.  It is the way that this degree is delivered that is different as apprentices will be based in the work place as well as studying with a university.

Apprentices will be released by their employer to study part-time with a university and will train in a range of practice placement settings. Apprentices will study with a university that is a Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) approved education provider and will be expected to achieve the same standards as any other student nurse.

Depending on the specialism the degree awarded upon successful completion will be either a BSc (Honours) Adult Nursing or BSc (Honours) Mental Health Nursing.

Registered Nurse Degree Apprentices won’t have to pay tuition fees.  The cost of the apprenticeship will be paid by employers.

Applications and interviews will be a part of determining who is successful in gaining an apprenticeship within a health organisation in Dorset.

A full recruitment and selection process will take place across Dorset.

When completing your application form please refer to the job profile.

All qualifications must be detailed on the application form – the subject, the grade and the year. Without this clear information we will not be able to process your application. Any pending qualifications must also be included – Any A-Level / Level 3 or higher qualifications that are pending need to be achieved by summer 2021.

Yes! As well as working as part of the team delivering care at your home base, you will also experience placement opportunities at various locations where you’ll develop the skills to become a registered nurse.

In addition to your usual place of work apprentices will have placements over the four years which will be in a variety of settings. Placements will be in blocks over the course of the programme and will be in a variety of locations across Dorset potentially during mornings, evenings, weekends and bank holidays so it is essential that you are able to access these places.

The apprenticeship is a full time role which is 37.5 hours a week in the NHS.  During the apprenticeship there will be a requirement to experience essential all round care to meet patient needs. Part of the apprenticeship work in a healthcare role could include a variety of shift patterns and may include day or night shifts and weekends and bank holidays.

Your main place of work and placements will be across Dorset, therefore you will be expected to be able to travel to these various locations at a variety of times and days of the week.

The apprenticeship will take three and a half years to complete.

There is no upper age limit to start a nurse apprenticeship but you must be aged 18 or over at the start of the programme in September 2021.

Qualified nurses can undertake nursing roles in both primary and secondary care in many areas of work and in many clinical areas. Nursing can follow a career path in:

  • Research
  • Education
  • Leadership

With further experience, future careers can include advanced practice nursing, nurse education and mentoring, and healthcare management, such as ward sister or lead nurse.

Yes, full time staff are entitled to annual leave days and an average of 8 public holidays. Your employer can tell you more about this.

All annual leave will need to be agreed through the line manager and taken within specific times of the apprenticeship programme. (for example; not during placement time).  There may be requirement to work on some public holidays with leave taken at an alternative time. Any prior booked leave should be discussed if invited to interview.

This is varies on your employer.

There are a number of staff benefits open to NHS employees including; pensions, staff discount at certain outlets, access to some corporate memberships, student discount card for apprentices and many more.

“Such an eye opening course that is one of a kind, will be forever grateful!”

Contact us

Get in touch

If you have any questions, please feel free to email us and we will get back to you as soon as we can. 

Email us

You may find some useful information in the FAQs on our website.

See our FAQs
Apply for an Adult Nursing Apprenticeship
Apply for a Mental Health Nursing Apprenticeship