South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s first cohort of nursing degree apprentices have qualified as registered nurses.
The programme aims to help healthcare professionals who already work within the trust and are keen to qualify as registered nurses.
The programme was led by clinical practice educator Christie Sowerby. She said: “It has been a pleasure to support our first cohort throughout their studies.
“The apprenticeship route has given individuals, who otherwise wouldn’t have had the opportunity to be able to complete their studies, due to financial and work life commitments, the opportunity to progress to be a registered nurse.
They have brought a wealth of underlying knowledge and skills into this programme from their previous roles and I am so proud. They’re a credit to the trust in their new roles and I wish them luck embarking on this new chapter of their career. Well done."
Julie Bailey from Guisborough has worked for South Tees for 22 years and was among those to qualify.
“I’ve wanted to be a nurse since I was 18 years old but I couldn’t afford the training so when this opportunity came up, I grabbed it with both hands,” she said.
It’s an honour to be handpicked to be one of the first six to take this training progression further. It wasn’t easy going back to university in my fifties but I’m so glad I did and I’m now a registered nurse on the elective orthopaedic ward at James Cook.”
Charlene Robson from Thirsk previously worked as an assistant practitioner at the Friarage and also gained her dream job of being a registered nurse following the apprenticeship.
“I did a funded foundation degree over ten years ago and kept holding out to be sponsored to achieve my goal,” she said.
“When I got the call to say I got onto the course it was emotional because I’d been waiting so long, I couldn’t believe it.
“It’s amazing to now be a qualified nurse on the Friarage’s Gara Ward, it still doesn’t feel real.”
Chief nurse Hilary Lloyd said: “We are incredibly proud of our nursing degree apprentices; they are a huge asset to our nursing teams across the trust.
“I am immensely proud of all six of them for leading the way with this new qualification and for providing excellent patient care.”