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Judy’s apprenticeship journey

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Judy’s apprenticeship journey

Apprentices make a huge difference to so many organisations, including our own. Here Judy Cornwall, our first Hospice Apprenticeship Nurse, shares her experiences during National Apprenticeship Week 2022.

Judy says: “I am coming to the final weeks of my apprenticeship nursing degree at St Nic’s. I have been doing the apprenticeship for three years.

“As part of my training, I have an Assistant Practitioner in nursing degree, and I will qualify for my second degree at the end of April 2022, when I will become a registered nurse.

“Nursing was something I had dreamt of doing for several years, so when the Hospice’s Education Lead dropped into conversation that they had a vision of St Nic’s growing their own nurses, I persistently approached them for two years to make it happen and the opportunity for staff members to do an apprenticeship.

“I did my Diploma in Health and Social Care and did my maths and English exams in preparation to prove that I was willing to study and would like to apply if the opportunity ever arose.

“I also did a lot of background reading about apprenticeships and how an apprenticeship in nursing would differ from the familiar nursing route.

“I thought I would have to work harder to prove I was just as important as full-time nursing students, but I was reassured throughout that an apprenticeship nurse would be recognised by the NMC (Nursing and Midwifery Council) as a registered nurse.

“Fast forward five years from that conversation, and I am now nearly qualified and have been offered a position on Sylvan ward.

“I would be lying if I said it has been easy because it hasn’t. It has been hard, sad, stressful. If I stopped to think about how much I have done and needed to do, I would have run for the hills.

“It is definitely not for the faint-hearted, but for those that really have a passion for nursing, an apprenticeship is a great way to do it. For me, being paid to work and study for my qualification was great.

“Being a student nurse through the Covid-19 pandemic has been filled with so many different emotions. It has been scary, adrenaline-filled, sad and overwhelming.

“Being the first person at the Hospice to do the apprenticeship in nursing has been a privilege, and I’ve never taken that for granted.

“I know I have been lucky to have had this opportunity, and I’m paying back this opportunity by investing my energy, time and hard work to be a good Hospice nurse, and I have been a good advocate for the Hospice whilst out on placements.

“I thank the Hospice for this opportunity and my colleagues and friends for their support and for listening to me constantly saying I’m tired.”