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Aspiring nurse apprentice tells others to follow their dreams

An aspiring UHNM apprentice is to achieve her dream of becoming a registered nurse next month after embarking on a healthcare career at the age of 50.

Annette Walklate started her UHNM healthcare journey as a healthcare support worker in elderly care in 2015 after previously being a personal assistant. She did a foundation degree course in acute care with Staffordshire University in 2017 until 2019 to become assistant practitioner.

She has continued her career journey at UHNM and is currently doing a registered nurse degree apprenticeship which is a placement driven 18 month topic course alongside 29 other apprentices who will become the first cohort of registered nurses at UHNM following the apprenticeship route when they graduate in the summer.

The degree apprenticeship consist of five 12 week placements, with study days at university twice a week.

Annette, now 58, said: “When studying and working at the same time it can sometimes be full on and there is a lot of modules that you cover but this apprenticeship has been really good for work life balance. It’s exciting to know the hard work will have paid off in March when I become a registered nurse.

On completion of her degree next month, Annette will qualify as a Band 5 Registered Nurse and she will begin working in the critical care unit of Royal Stoke University Hospital.

She added: “I want to emphasise that anyone can do an apprenticeship. People automatically assume that when you are on an apprenticeship, you fresh out to school or college but my case is definitely not like that. I wouldn't be anywhere now at my age if I hadn't got the support of an apprenticeship via Staffordshire University and UHNM.

“Don’t be scared and follow your dreams. Make that initial first inquiry and see what opportunities are out there. There's different apprenticeship for different levels of studying as well.”