Learning while working
Posted on Apr 12 2022 by Bobbie Kelly
One of the first Nursing Associates to have completed the training programme at St Andrew’s has spoken about the “joy of jumping” into a brand new opportunity.
Grace Graziano, who started as a Healthcare Assistant (HCA) with the charity in 2017, has just finished the two-year course and begun her role as a Nurse Associate on Cherry ward.
The trainee Nursing Associate Programme follows an apprenticeship framework, which is what attracted Grace to participating.
She said: “I have been thinking about my career development for a while, but at the time I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do other than stay in healthcare. Studying to become a nurse just wasn’t an option for me as I had a mortgage and a wedding to pay for at the time.
“But then I read about the Nursing Associate Programme, which sounded ideal to me. It meant I could continue working, while increasing my knowledge base and working towards a new qualification. Now that I’ve completed my training I am excited to jump in at the deep end and start a new role.”
Over the course of the two years, students are tested on a range of physical healthcare key skills and competencies. They also develop a range of transferable generic skills, attitudes and capabilities that helps promote their life-long learning.
Ged Rogers, Clinical Education Manager, said: “We’re very proud of all our new Nursing Associates who I’m thrilled to say are now bridging the gap between the role of the HCA and nurses across the charity. The Nursing Associate role offers significant support to nursing staff, and encompasses mental health, learning disability and adult nursing.
“Here at St Andrew’s we’re committed to providing outstanding levels of support to our existing workforce and helping them to develop professionally which we think encourages ambition and boosts morale.”
Grace added: “This course and the work I’ve been doing has only highlighted to that nursing is definitely the profession for me. For the time being I want to spend time enjoying my new position and settle into the role, but I have my sights set on training to be a nurse in the future.”