Nursing Associate Higher Apprenticeship

Applications for our Nursing Associate Apprenticeship September 2019 intake are now closed. Dates for our next intake will be listed here in Spring 2020.


Our Nursing Associate Apprenticeship enables both new and existing healthcare staff to study for a fully-funded FdSc in nursing whilst in paid employment. 

The programme provides employers the opportunity to up-skill their workforce and plan to meet current and future healthcare needs.

Delivered by experienced Registered Nurses, the flexible, work-based programme provides apprentices with the knowledge and skills to support the provision of quality care across a range of healthcare settings. 

Apprentices will become an important part of the nursing family, helping to make a difference to individuals, their families and communities.

Programme overview

  • Two-year programme with attendance at University one day a week
  • Designed for employees working a minimum of 30 hours per week, apprentices will remain part of the workforce and continue to contribute to patient/client care whilst working towards the qualification
  • For the duration of the programme employees will split their time between study and guided practice, as well as undertaking placements in a variety of settings
  • Delivery locations will include Plymouth, our Knowledge Spa Campus in Truro or at our School of Nursing in Exeter
  • Once qualified, Nursing Associates may work across a wide range of healthcare settings, including acute or community hospitals (across a range of clinical areas); community nursing teams and GP practices.

Key benefits

  • @ Highest quality training – teaching is always current and integrates best practice, through internationally renowned research and national frameworks and policies
  • @ Tailored to the employee – programme assessments will be linked to the apprentice’s current practice area, contributing to the overall process of organisational change and innovation
  • @ An education provider you can trust – we’re one of the largest providers of healthcare education in the South West, with an excellent reputation for delivering nurse education at undergraduate and postgraduate level
  • @ Support – employers and apprentices will be supported by nurse academics and our apprenticeship manager throughout the duration of the programme

“These new ways of entering nursing offer some really exciting opportunities for people wanting to have a rewarding career but can’t afford to study for a degree in the traditional way. The University of Plymouth is building on its established close relationships with NHS and private healthcare partners to create a ‘win-win’ for all – offering employment support, work-based learning, and the ability to gain a nursing registration in two years for healthcare employees who show talent and want to develop their nursing career.”
Professor Bridie Kent, Interim Executive Dean, Health and Human Sciences, University of Plymouth

Student insight

Billy Patterson first year Nursing Associate Apprentice explains how his studies are benefitting the residents he cares for at Sanctuary Care’s Fernihust Nursing Home in Exmouth.

"It’s great for Fernihurst because the nurses can focus on their role, with me picking up these clinical tasks. It’s about having that clinical knowledge to be able to interpret results myself which I love."

One of the highlights of our apprenticeship is that students can continue to learn while working. Modules covered include anatomy and physiology, holistic assessment and managing medicines. Students learn key clinical skills such as wound dressing, taking vital signs and administering medication.

"My experience so far has been excellent. I would say to anyone considering an apprenticeship to do it! It gives you the opportunity to progress your career.”

Degree Apprenticeship: BSc (Hons) Nursing

On successful completion of the Nursing Associate Foundation Degree, employees may be interested in becoming a registered nurse. The Nursing Degree Apprenticeship is a flexible, work-based route for both new and existing healthcare practitioners.

The BSc (Hons) Nursing apprenticeship provides the opportunity to remain in employment whilst studying for a degree in adult or mental health nursing

Find out more about degree apprenticeships in nursing