Case study

From Healthcare Assistant to qualified Nursing Associate

Before beginning her apprenticeship journey, Anna was a healthcare assistant in A&E during Covid-19, an experience that kickstarted her ambitions to become a healthcare professional.

New opportunities

Although Anna knew that she wanted to become a qualified Nursing Associate, she was concerned about the cost of going to university and felt that, at the age of 47, she wanted to follow a different path. The Nursing Associate apprenticeship offered a way for Anna to achieve the qualifications she wanted whilst supporting her family by undertaking paid work in the field. 

“I love that my age has been no barrier to completing this programme. The last two years really have been life-changing for me as I always wanted to become a nurse but thought that I had missed the boat. With encouragement from my work, I got a place on the Nursing Associate course in 2022. I have learnt so much and I have loved every minute, despite being challenged along the way. I am so grateful for this opportunity as I would never have been able to afford to do it the traditional way as, with 4 children, it's just not an option.”

Day-to-day activities 

Anna’s day-to-day workplace responsibilities are extremely varied. Working in the Emergency Management Unit at Chesterfield Hospital, Anna has gotten involved in handovers, patient care, new admissions, referrals and more. 

Despite the challenges of working in a fast-paced unit, Anna enjoys her work as no two days are the same. She has thrived in this constantly changing environment as she is never bored and always thinks about what is next.

Supporting her role in emergency care is the knowledge gained from studying the Nursing Associate programme. Anna found that the classes took a multi-faceted approach, including learning both research and evidence-based practices. She has been taught to think more critically in each situation, understanding the rationale behind why different medical practices are important and further developing her skillset to apply research in her everyday activities. 

Current achievements

As the first woman in her family to gain a degree, Anna was keen to set an example of hard work for her daughters. Anna’s key message is that age is not a barrier to achievement, and it is important to push oneself to achieve your dreams. Anna is proud of how she has developed during her apprenticeship whilst balancing her family life with her studies and job. 

Although not initially thinking of herself as academic, Anna has flourished over her apprenticeship journey and is currently working at a Distinction level. She has also achieved the Chief Nursing Officer award for Commitment to Outstanding Care, recognising her skillset and dedication to her work. 

Looking to the future, Anna would love to continue her education to progress her career. 

Now I am hoping that I may get chosen by work at some point for the Royal General Nursing top-up. I have come such a long way, and this would never have been possible without the apprenticeship.”

Anna Wild alongside two colleagues receiving a Chief Nursing Officer award
Anna's Chief Nursing Officer award with Krishna Kallianpur, Chief Nurse for Chesterfield Royal Hospital, and Tracey Wall, Senior Nurse Advisor for the Midlands Healthcare Support Worker Programme.