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Can You Do a Nursing Apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships are an excellent way to gain practical skills and knowledge while earning a wage. However, you may wonder, “Can you do a nursing apprenticeship?”

In the dynamic healthcare field, nursing apprenticeships offer a fantastic opportunity for individuals to embark on a fulfilling career while gaining valuable practical experience and academic knowledge. 

This article aims to provide a comprehensive overview of nursing apprenticeships, detailing the benefits, entry requirements, duration, and potential career prospects.

Can You Do a Nursing Apprenticeship

What is a Nursing Apprenticeship? 

A nursing apprenticeship combines on-the-job training with academic study, allowing aspiring nurses to learn and develop essential skills under the guidance of experienced healthcare professionals. It is a structured program that provides individuals with the necessary qualifications and hands-on experience to become a registered nurse.

Benefits of Nursing Apprenticeships

Nursing apprenticeships offer several advantages, making them an attractive option for those considering a career in nursing:

  1. Earn while you learn: Apprentices receive a salary throughout their training, which means they can financially support themselves while gaining qualifications.
  2. Practical experience: Apprentices work alongside qualified nurses, acquiring practical skills in various healthcare settings such as hospitals, clinics, and community care centres.
  3. Academic qualifications: Apprenticeships include classroom-based learning and practical training, enabling individuals to earn a recognised nursing qualification upon completion.
  4. Professional development: Apprenticeships provide a supportive learning environment where apprentices can develop confidence, communication skills, and patient care abilities.

Entry Requirements

To enrol in a nursing apprenticeship, candidates must meet certain entry criteria, which typically include the following:

  1. Age: Apprenticeships are open to individuals aged 18 or above.
  2. Educational qualifications: The specific requirements vary, but most programs require candidates to have a minimum of five GCSEs (or equivalent) at grade C/4 or above, including English, Maths, and Science and A levels or equivalent. 
  3. Health and character checks: As nurses work with vulnerable individuals, candidates must undergo health assessments and provide character references.

Duration and Structure

The duration of a nursing degree apprenticeship typically ranges from three to four years. The program consists of a combination of classroom-based study and practical placements.

  1. Theoretical learning: Apprentices attend classes or online lectures where they learn about nursing theory, anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, and other relevant subjects.
  2. Clinical placements: Apprentices gain hands-on experience by working in different healthcare settings, providing direct patient care, assisting with medical procedures, and observing healthcare professionals in action.
  3. Mentorship and supervision: Apprentices are assigned a mentor or a qualified nurse who guides and supports them throughout their apprenticeship journey.

Career Prospects

Upon completing a nursing apprenticeship, individuals become qualified registered nurses, opening doors to various career opportunities within the healthcare sector. Registered nurses can work in hospitals, nursing homes, community healthcare centres, mental health facilities, and other settings.

Registered nurses can pursue further specialisation by undertaking postgraduate studies or advanced training in midwifery, paediatrics, mental health nursing, or critical care nursing. Nursing also offers opportunities for career progression into leadership and management roles.


Nursing apprenticeships present a promising pathway for individuals seeking a rewarding healthcare career. They provide a unique blend of practical experience and academic learning, allowing apprentices to develop essential skills while earning a salary. In addition, by offering a structured and supportive environment, nursing apprenticeships equip individuals with the qualifications and competence required to become competent registered nurses.

Updated on June 3, 2023

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