Nursing degree apprenticeships

The standards for nursing degree apprenticeships have been approved and there is a growing number of NHS organisations advertising vacancies. Nursing degree apprenticeships offer flexible routes to becoming a nurse that don't require full-time study at university, although nursing degree apprentices will still need to undertake academic study at degree level.

You will need to secure a position as a nursing degree apprentice and your employer will then release you to study at university on a part-time basis. You will train in a range of practice placement settings.  

Most nursing degree apprenticeships will take four years. If you already have prior learning and experience, you may get some recognition of this through APEL and so the nursing degree apprenticeship may take you less than four years to complete.

You’ll typically need a level 3 qualification to start a nursing degree apprenticeship. If you have a level 5 qualification as a nursing associate or assistant practitioner it'll reduce the length of the apprenticeship, sometimes to two years. This route is often referred to as a 'top up' registered nurse degree (RNDA) apprenticeship.

Nursing associate

The role of nursing associate sits alongside existing nursing care support workers and fully-qualified registered nurses in both health and social care. 

It opens up a career in nursing to people from all backgrounds and offers the opportunity to progress to training to become a registered nurse. Trainee roles are often available in a variety of health and care settings. This means that nursing associates have wider opportunities and more flexibility to move between acute, social and community and primary care.

A nursing associate is not a registered nurse, but with further training, it can be possible to 'top up' your training to become one. 

Read more about the nursing associate role