SCHEME: Clinical co-ordinators Kayleigh McCourt and Lauren Carey, studying to become registered nurses. Picture supplied

A NEW apprenticeship scheme is being launched to help the next generation of nurses to achieve their career ambitions. 

The West Norfolk Cohort aims to attract nursing students to work in the area along with helping health or social care assistants to train to become registered nurses

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn has teamed-up with Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust and Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust in a bid to increase the number of nurses working in West Norfolk.

A drop-in session will be held tomorrow (Saturday) for potential nurses to find out more about the scheme.

The session will be at The Inspire Centre on the hospital site from 10am to 4pm.

Emma Hardwick, director of nursing at the Gayton Road hospital, said: “Nursing is an incredibly rewarding career and West Norfolk offers a wealth of opportunities for people to progress and make a difference.

“The hospital is currently running a number of initiatives to increase the numbers of nurses in West Norfolk, including Grow Your Own. Four of our clinical co-ordinators are currently working on an honours degree in Pre-Registration. By investing in our existing staff we are helping to equip the workforce of the future. We are pleased to work with our partners to offer this exciting opportunity and ensure the high standard care for our future patients.”

Nursing students are being encouraged to complete their training at the hospital or other health organisations in West Norfolk with the hopes of attracting them to work in the area after their qualification.

Band two or three health or social care assistants, who work for any of the three trusts, also have the opportunity to complete an 18-month higher apprenticeship, the equivalent of a foundation degree.

This course is being delivered by the University of Suffolk and the next session is due to start in June with recruitment being advertised from March.

Debbie Beresford, deputy director of nursing, from Norfolk Community Health and Care, added: “This is a fantastic opportunity for nursing students to get experience of the world of work and to recognise the opportunities available to them.”

For drop-in details, call Amy Haynes on 01553 214620.