A trainee from Bristol will become one of the country’s first Nursing Associates when she completes her apprenticeship qualification next month in April.
Michelle Alderson, 29, who works at Sirona care & health’s Charlton House Community Resource Centre in Keynsham, is one of the pioneers for the new nursing role having participated in one of the country’s first pilots for the qualification. Nursing Associates will work with healthcare support workers and registered nurses to deliver care. A Qualified Nursing Associate can also go on to train as a registered nurse which is Michelle’s long-term goal.
Michelle enrolled on the new Nursing Associate apprenticeship degree course in 2017, studying one day a week at the University of the West of England.
She says: “I started at Sirona as a support worker which I enjoyed but knew I wanted to go further. Sirona has supported me all the way. It was really exciting being part of the pilot course and that we are one of the first sites to implement it. I like to think we have paved the way for the Nursing Associates of the future.”
Karen Gleave, Professional Development Facilitator at Sirona care & health, says: “Michelle and the Sirona team have together helped pioneer this important qualification. It will not only create an invaluable new role but will act as a stepping stone for those who wish to go on and train as a registered nurse. I enrolled Michelle on the course and am very proud that she will qualify next month.”
Once qualified, Michelle will complete her preceptorship year at Charlton House Community Resource Centre. She then plans to complete the additional two- year top up to become a registered nurse.
Sirona care & health currently has 60 apprentices. Its ethos of developing and progressing staff means that, whether you are 16 or 66, you can learn and grow with the organisation.