The leading private healthcare provider, Spire Healthcare, is launching a new nurse degree apprenticeship programme in partnership with the University of Sunderland, with roles available across Spire’s 35 English hospitals.

The nurse degree apprenticeship is open to applicants at all stages of life, including school leavers, university graduates and people looking to retrain. The nurse degree apprenticeship is a work-based qualification providing apprentices with a combination of training and assessments via distancing learning and on-site placements applying practical knowledge. Placements will be delivered at a Spire hospital as well as at the local NHS trust and GP practice.

Apprentices enjoy a flexible, work-based approach, combining university study and workplace learning to develop new knowledge, skills and thinking whilst completing a degree. The benefit of the degree apprenticeship route is the ability to earn while learning, with a salary of between £18,000 and £21,000 depending on previous experience.

Each nurse degree apprenticeship will complete the programme with a BSc degree. Applications are open now, with successful applicants starting the programme in July 2021.

Deborah Barker, Group Talent Manager at Spire Healthcare, commented, “We are thrilled to be launching our new nurse degree apprenticeship programme. Delivered in partnership with the University of Sunderland it offers hundreds of people, from school leavers, university graduates or people looking to retrain, the opportunity to earn while they learn. Nurses have a vital role in delivering care and support to patients while in hospital and this programme helps to introduce more people into the profession.

“The appeal of an apprenticeship has risen in recent years due to the increasing cost of the traditional university degree route. Covid-19 has then compounded this with classroom-based teaching disrupted over the course of 2020/21.

“The programme has been developed to give people a broad experience of healthcare in England, they will complete placements in Spire hospitals, NHS hospitals, and in the community. This ensures that every apprentice gets a full-rounded experience of the role and is well-prepared for their future career in the sector.”

Simone Bedford, Team Leader Professional Healthcare Practice and Midwifery at the University of Sunderland, said: “We are excited to be working with Spire Healthcare as this is a great opportunity to work with partners in the private sector.

“The Registered Nurse Degree Apprenticeship will be delivered nationally within the Spire Healthcare group and will offer greater flexibility than a traditional degree to the 270 new nursing apprentices. Based on the University of Sunderland’s successful experience elsewhere, this ‘grow your own’ model is a very exciting development for everyone concerned and we commend Spire Healthcare for its initiative in embarking on such a programme.”

Spire’s nurse degree apprenticeship programme is open to applicants from people 18 years and over. Unusually for a nurse apprenticeship programme, it is open to people coming straight out of education, with no existing healthcare background. Applicants need to hold a maths and English GCSE A to C/9 to 4 or equivalent and have either a level 3 in Healthcare or 112 UCAS points. The length of the programme is four or five years, depending on existing qualifications. This is reduced to two to three years for Nurse Associates or Assistant Practitioners to reflect existing experience and prior learning.

To find out more and apply visit:

Spire currently has 25 nurse degree apprentices enrolled on an existing programme who are due to graduate in October 2021. The private healthcare provider also offers a wide range of clinical and non-clinical apprenticeships.

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