Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has announced plans to expand the number of apprenticeship places, which will allow nursing associates to qualify as fully registered nurses. The measures are to be part of what he called “the biggest expansion of nurse training in the history or the NHS”.
Ahead of his speech to the Conservative Party conference in Manchester today, a target of 5,500 places was briefed to journalists. The figure was not included in the final version of his speech, however. Hr Hunt told the conference he planned to “[triple] the number of nursing associates so people already in the NHS can become a registered nurse after a four-year apprenticeship without having to do a traditional full time university course”.
The plans to tackle staff shortages will also see an expansion of the number of nurse training places by 5,000 – or 25 per cent – according to the health secretary.
Prime minister Theresa May earlier told LBC: “I want to give people opportunities to be able to see that they can become a nurse in a whole variety of different ways. Getting on-the-job training, I think, is very important. We need to ensure that people who are going into nursing aren’t just those who perhaps look on it as a degree opportunity.”