December 29, 2017

Nursing Apprenticeship: Earn While You Learn

A person can become a licensed RN (Registered Nurse) in multiple ways. While some students choose to start their nursing career by getting their Licensed Private Nurse (LPN) accreditation before transitioning onto an advanced degree, some enroll themselves in a four-year degree program (bachelors) for nursing which eventually prepares them for the NCLEX test. As you might be aware, NCLEX is a mandatory exam that one needs to pass to practice as an RN in the field.

However, the Federal and local governments are trying to find an alternate path for the nursing aspirants to land in the profession field with the help of education institutes and healthcare facilities. The goal of this combined initiative is to facilitate the students with nursing apprenticeships which will allow them to gather professional experience and earn some money while continuing their study. In fact, the UK is joining forces with other countries (including the USA) to promote such nursing apprenticeship programs as the world is currently facing a certain level of a nursing shortage.

It is believed that the program, which allows the students to gain hands-on experience with an income while attending their schools, will help attract more students to take up nursing programs for their higher studies. It is also anticipated that the students who would otherwise have avoided the course due to its high cost of tuition will now be interested in attending this course will be more accessible to them.

The projected nursing shortage which has apparently affected several countries has been a topic of some major discussions. Even though there was disagreement about the sternness of the idea, but the situation was dire enough for the government to step up and look for fresh ways to fill the vacant positions with more qualified nurses.

In most of the countries, the existing apprenticeship programs usually offer an on-the-job training without requiring the candidates to attend university. As they start to develop new skills, they are moved up to a structured set of education levels.

In a recent announcement, it was revealed that the Middlesex University would be developing an apprenticeship for learning and teaching, while Sheffield Hallam University has also invested money towards both early year education and apprenticeship programs.

At the initial stage, the programs will enable the students to earn while they learn where one day a week will be spent studying. In fact, £4.9m in total has been granted to 27 projects where each of these projects consists of one or multiple education institutes joining hands to introduce a degree apprenticeship.

There was an announcement about degree apprenticeships for teachers as well. The Higher Education Funding Council for England reportedly mentioned that Leeds Trinity University would pilot the development of a teacher apprenticeship qualification and the postgraduate teacher apprenticeship will be developed by the University of Hertfordshire.

It is believed that with this new initiative students would not only learn new skills in the classroom but will also develop the sense of responsibility at work. As soon as the students complete these programs, they are supposed to receive an Interim Permit that will allow them to practice nursing. The list of benefits for the students does not end here.

The hospitals and healthcare facilities that are understaffed and have a high nurse to patient ratio can now employ the apprentices to fill the gaps and fix the disparity to a great extent. The programs also offer a lot of opportunities to cultivate future employees and accelerate the recruitment process as the other staff at the hospital or healthcare facility will already be familiar with the candidate.

The cost of education in the country is increasing with each passing year, and since nursing has always been among the expensive courses, a lot of graduates are usually stuck with huge debts before they even can land their first job. These apprenticeship programs will not only help the students gather professional experience while learning, but this will also solve their financial problems to a certain extent.


There were several instances where the nursing apprenticeship programs were piloted, but they didn’t have any overall impact on the system, and most of them were unorganised. Either there was something wrong with the approach or the execution was not at par. It will better if the authorities responsible for this latest initiative take the earlier mistakes in the account and make a fruitful execution of the policies on a national scale.

If you always wanted to pursue a career in the medical industry, but couldn’t apply due to the high cost of tuition, this latest nursing apprenticeship program may just be the most viable solution for you. It will require a significant amount of time to launch the program nationwide, but there are certain universities which are making positive efforts to introduce such programs as soon as possible.

However, you should always do your research before jumping to any conclusion. Since these programs are still at a very nascent stage, it is recommended that one should await the official confirmation before taking any decision.

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Bella Phillips

Bella Phillips is an academic writer at who is associated with the company for the past Six years. He has finished his master's degree from the University of South West England and has served as a guest lecturer at several colleges

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