Dorset NHS is offering up to 50 aspiring nurses the chance to earn as they learn on a new Registered Nurse Degree Apprenticeship (RNDA) scheme, launched today to coincide with National Apprenticeship Week.

The scheme will give eligible candidates thinking about choosing nursing as a career the opportunity to study and qualify as a nurse – whilst being paid a starting salary of over £17,000 with no tuition fees to pay.

The four-year course starts in September 2019. Successful applicants will have the option to study adult or mental health nursing with either Solent University or the Open University, while gaining practical experience in a local healthcare setting in Dorset.

Dr Forbes Watson, Dorset CCG Chair said: “The apprenticeship scheme offers a fantastic opportunity for people from a wide variety of backgrounds to work in nursing locally, get paid and transform lives. This is an exciting route into nursing for those who care about people and their wellbeing.

“You will be offered a place in any of Dorset’s hospitals, community or mental health services, or in general practice or social care. If you want to make a difference, making an application could be the first step towards gaining a professional qualification and beginning a fulfilling career.”

To apply, people must be aged 18 or over at the start of the programme and have a minimum of grade Cs in GCSE English and Maths or equivalent. Applicants must also have A-levels or equivalent level qualifications to a minimum of 96 UCAS points.

Matt Freeman, Commercial Partnerships Manager at Solent University said: “Solent University are delighted to be a key education provider for the NHS in Dorset’s Registered Nurse Degree Apprenticeship scheme.

“The four-year course will be a blended learning programme with extensive placements in a variety of healthcare settings whilst working for an NHS Dorset organisation. We look forward to welcoming our next cohort of nursing apprentices in September 2019.”

Balvinder Johal, Head of Business Development for Health at The Open University, commented: “We currently have over 1,000 student nurses on our programmes and have helped more than 1,400 health care support workers register as qualified nurses since 2002. We have a long-standing partnership with the NHS in Dorset and this is a fabulous opportunity for people to fulfil their potential.”

Applications are welcome from students still in education or people simply looking to make a positive career change. Applications will be accepted from the end of March and interviews will be held in May 2019.

All offers made to students in their final year of study will be conditional upon A-level or equivalent results. This particular scheme is not open to those already working in healthcare clinical roles, who are advised to seek development opportunities through their organisations. Full eligibility criteria, open evening dates and deadline details can be found online.

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