Want to be a nurse but no qualifications? Here's your chance
- Credit: Nick Butcher
The race is on to apply for a new NHS Nursing Cadets programme at a Norfolk hospital as directors admit that soaring interest may mean applications have to close early.
The James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston is launching the scheme in February as a "new route into nursing" for people who may not have qualified for pre-existing apprenticeships, and is funded by Health Education England.
According to the hospital, those with a "caring personality or care background" who would like to get into nursing, but who may not have met the minimum maths, English or care qualification level to apply for earlier opportunities, should apply.
The eight Cadet apprentices who will be recruited must undertake a Level 2 Healthcare Support Worker qualification, complete their care certificate in the first 12 weeks of employment and - if they haven't already achieved their maths and English qualifications - take these within their 15-month contract.
They will study with West Suffolk College as part of a 12-month programme.
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A JPH Facebook post outlining the opportunity read: "As this is an apprenticeship programme, you will be paid an apprenticeship wage.
"There will be a clear pathway following successful completion of the 15-month Healthcare Support Worker Level 2 contract onto the two-year Trainee Nursing Associate programme with the UEA. This will enable individuals to work as Registered Nursing Associates."
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Roy, a 50-year-old nursing apprentice at the JPH, said his main word of advice to those thinking of applying would be to "stop putting it off".
He said: "It was the opportunity I've been waiting for, and I would say to anyone: jump in. It's definitely worthwhile doing. It's given me an opportunity to work and learn at the same time, with all the support I need.
"Anyone coming into nursing via the apprenticeship route will get so much practical experience - more than any other route would give you."
According to the JPH's Director of Nursing Paul Morris, interest is already booming.
"The opportunity has reached 62,000 people via Facebook in less than 24 hours - and potential applicants should note that the vacancy will close early if we receive a high volume of applications", he said.
Apply at www.jpaget.nhs.uk/work-for-us/. You must be 17 or over. There is no upper age limit for applicants.