Bucks New University is due to be one of the first to deliver a registered nurse degree apprenticeship, which is based on its existing pre-registration nursing programme.
The Degree Apprenticeship will support employers to develop their nursing or healthcare staff towards registration as either adult, child or mental health nurses, said the university.
It said the new three-and-a-half-year apprenticeship programme was due to welcome its first cohort in March 2018.
The course could also be used to support recruitment of new apprentices to healthcare organisations, which could help address the shortfall in NHS nurses, said Bucks New University.
It said it was talking to several trusts and private healthcare providers, including nursing homes, rehabilitation centres, private hospitals and hospices, about delivering their apprenticeships.
Entry requirements would remain the same as the traditional degree, it said, but the university would consider individuals’ profiles, as part of widening participation.
It suggested that the Level 6 apprenticeship was an “ideal progression route” for assistant practitioners and others who had undertaken foundation degrees, as they might be able to carry forward credits in order to gain a BSc (Hons) Nursing (Adult, Child or Mental Health).
It noted that the apprenticeship route also included the ALERT programme (Acute Life-Threatening Events Recognition and Treatment) in all fields like the university’s traditional nursing degrees.
Bucks New highlighted that it was the first university in England to provide this programme as part of its degrees and it was designed to enable healthcare practitioners with a structured system to assess, recognise, manage and escalate the care of a deteriorating patient early.
Karen Buckwell-Nutt, head of school of pre-qualifying nursing and vocational healthcare, said: “It’s exciting that we are now in a position, after a lot of hard work, to provide more people with higher education through an ‘earn as you learn’ alternative to our traditional degree programme.
“This option will offer a clear and structured career progression not only to those who already work within healthcare, whether that be the NHS, care homes or the community, but for those wishing to start their career,” said Ms Buckwell-Nutt.
She said: “Nursing apprenticeships mean organisations can take advantage of the levy, develop staff, as well as using it as a recruitment tool.
“All this will not only benefit the organisation but also improve the experience of patients and service users,” she added.
Source: Nursing Times