Exemplar Health Care becomes one of the largest private sector providers of the Trainee Nursing Associate apprenticeship programme

4 October 2020

Trainee Nursing Associate at Kavanagh Place

Exemplar Health Care has become one of the largest private sector providers of the Government-backed Trainee Nursing Associate (TNA) apprenticeship programme.

The Nursing Associate role was introduced by Health Education England almost three years ago. It was designed to bridge the gap between Healthcare Support Workers and Registered Nurses, and help build the capacity of the nursing workforce, providing a progression route into graduate-level nursing for those wanting to continue learning and develop their career.

Last year, the company added the Trainee Nursing Associate apprenticeship to our already extensive portfolio of learning and development opportunities, and we're thrilled to be welcoming 13 more colleagues onto the programme this month.

Our first cohort of learners started the programme in October 2019, from four of our complex needs care homes in South Yorkshire.

Since then, we're excited to announce that an additional 13 colleagues are starting their training during September and October 2020, with a view for more signing up over the coming months and years.

About the Trainee Nursing Associate apprenticeship

The programme is around two years long, and is delivered via an apprenticeship route, which means that learners continue working whilst being paid. The programme involves one or two days at a local university each week, alongside learning ‘on the job’ in an Exemplar Health Care home and completing placements in other health and social care settings.

Claire Fretwell, Head of Learning, Development and Talent, says:

“Many health care providers continue fishing from the same pond of qualified Nurses. However, the current talent pool does not offer enough Registered Nurses to enable us to keep delivering the highest quality of person-centred care that we aspire to provide for all our service users, and support the ambitious growth of the company. The Trainee Nursing Associate programme enables us to develop existing colleagues, so that we can continue grow our nursing workforce internally.”

Hear from our Trainee Nursing Associates 

The apprenticeship offers colleagues the opportunity to learn whilst they earn, and progress in their career.

Gemma Walker, Trainee Nursing Associate at our outstanding-rated Dearnevale home in Barnsley, has found that the programme is a great way to learn whilst fitting in with her current commitments outside of work. She shared:

“When I heard that Exemplar Health Care was offering an opportunity to boost my skills in care, I jumped at the chance. I’ve got a mortgage and a family to support, so I’d never be able to train as a qualified Nurse by taking three years out of work to be at university - so, training as a Nursing Associate while staying in my role means that I can learn and earn – which is key for me.

“It also means that I can progress in a nursing career without compromising on practical work experience, which is a key consideration for many employers in the care sector.”

Jack Cooke, Trainee Nursing Associate at our Neville Court home in Barnsley, joined Exemplar Health Care for the development opportunities, and enjoys studying whilst gaining valuable work experience on this apprenticeship. He shared:

“This is one of the best opportunities that I’ve had to work full time and also study to progress in the area of work that I love doing.

“In this role I get the opportunity to work alongside my Supervisor and Registered Nurses to carry out delegated clinical care tasks – which is a great way to gain valuable work experience, alongside my studies at university. There is always something new to learn and the excitement you get feels great.

“In the future I would love to become a Registered Nurse and continue providing the highest standards of nursing care to our service users.”

Careers with Exemplar Health Care

Exemplar Health Care is a leading provider of specialist nursing care for adults living with a range of complex and high acuity needs. Working in one of our homes gives you a tremendous sense of achievement and pride – you’ll make a real difference each and every day.

Our roles offer stable employment, with flexible shifts, full support and training, whether you’ve worked in the sector before or are looking for a career change.

There are also lots of opportunities to learn, develop and progress in your career, through our in-house learning programme and external training opportunities.

Visit our job search to find a vacancy near you!