“I joined Devon Partnership NHS Trust as I wanted to be part of a team that supported people with mental health issues on their recovery journey. I worked previously as a make-up artist and beauty consultant, but volunteered for different organisations in the community. I also undertook my Counselling Certificate so it seemed like a natural progression to move to the organisation.
I joined in July 2017 as a Band 3 Support Worker at Langdon Hospital and after a year I was accepted onto the Assistant Practitioner Apprenticeship Programme. I saw this as a great opportunity for my development into a Band 4 role. However, as I gained more skills and knowledge through the programme I began to feel that I wanted to progress to become a mental health nurse.
I became aware that there was an opportunity to undertake my nurse training through an apprenticeship with the Open University which meant I could work and learn at the same time, without having to leave my job and go to university. I applied to join the Nursing Apprenticeship at the end of the first year of the Assistant Practitioner Programme and I was really pleased to be accepted and joined the second year of the four year apprenticeship in September 2019.
I feel very supported by all my team at work who are very interested in the Programme and they offer guidance and advice when I want it. I find the flexibility that the Open University provides works well for me and I feel my organisational and self-management skills have really improved, as well as developing my study skills to meet the challenges of the Programme. Whilst undertaking the Nursing Apprenticeship I have a day a week for study which I find very useful. I work two days as a Student Nurse – in my work base and on various placements, including The Haldon Eating Disorder Unit, and two days in my Healthcare Assistant role. I enjoy the variety and balance this gives me and the patients on the ward are also supporting me as I train and are interested in my progression. I really appreciate the emphasis that the organisation places in ensuring that employees maintain their own mental wellbeing, as this is very important to me.
I am really looking forward to the day when I walk onto the ward as a fully qualified nurse, trained through an apprenticeship with Devon Partnership NHS Trust and I know my colleagues and the patients will be also be proud of my achievement.
I feel the opportunities that the organisation has on offer to support career progression are great and the Practice Education Team is a good resource to find out what is on offer, how different programmes run and what will best suit your needs.
If you have the desire and passion to develop yourself I would thoroughly recommend undertaking the apprenticeship opportunities available at all levels."
For more information contact the Practice Education Team on 01392 663915 (option 4) or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org