Case study

Changing career paths to become a front face in patient care

When Josie Bates decided to change her career and become a nurse, she realised a Student Nurse Apprenticeship was her best option. She is now in her second year of our MSc Nursing (Adult) course alongside her apprenticeship. She will soon become a registered nurse and start building a career she is passionate about. 

Finding her path to nursing

After completing her undergraduate degree in biomedical science at the start of 2020, Josie started working at Queen’s Hospital in Burton as a healthcare associate. That was when she realised that her passions were in nursing.  

"The traditional route for biomedical science graduates is laboratory-focussed work or further research. Whilst I found this field incredibly interesting, I realised I am more suited towards a front-facing role in healthcare - which led me on the path to nursing." 

Because she was initially employed by the University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Trust (UHDB), Josie felt motivated to continue her studies with the trust as it would facilitate a smooth transition between roles. She is currently a Student Nurse Apprentice at UHDB as a part of her second year of the MSc Nursing (Adult) course.

"I was originally employed by the University Hospitals of Derby and Burton, and as they have got such strong links and connections with the University, it was a no-brainer to apply for an opportunity that would allow me to facilitate a major career aspiration." 

Academic support

As an apprentice, Josie takes part in ‘tripartite meetings’, a 12-weekly check-in with her employer and her academic tutor. It is a space for discussion about her academic performance and practical workplace performance.

"It’s good to get that reassurance that you are doing well, but also get the space to discuss any concerns."

Apart from that, Josie also has a personal academic tutor, who is able to work with apprentices on an individual level in order to make sure that students feel supported and capable to achieve their academic/professional goals. 

"The academics and staff have been massively helpful. I have had a personal tutor throughout the course, who is absolutely amazing, always answering emails, she would pop in and check if you’re okay even if she’s not teaching that day. All I can say is that she’s a breath of fresh air, incredibly helpful."  

Impact of the apprenticeship

Thanks to the apprenticeship, Josie will become a registered nurse after graduating - her degree will open the door to many different career pathways.

"This apprenticeship will have a massive impact on my career. If all goes well, I will be a registered nurse by the end of it, and the career progression from that and the variety of roles that will be available for me as a registered nurse are huge.

There are many facets of medicine and specifically many different areas of nursing that can be explored through the role of a registered nurse. That is actually one of the main reasons I wanted to complete my nursing degree, coming from a carer background, there is just so much more you can do, so many more opportunities for progression."   

Josie Bates - MSc Nursing (Adult) Apprentice in scrubs

To anyone thinking of doing an apprenticeship, I’d say go for it, for me is has facilitated a major career aspiration I have had, and I don’t think I could get where I am now without the help of the university or my NHS trust.

Josie Bates
MSc Nursing (Adult) Apprentice

What does the future hold? 

After completing her MSc Nursing (Adult), Josie will be presented with many career possibilities. 

"My goal is to be a nurse at the acute medical ward, I have enjoyed placement experience working with oncology or cardiology-specific care settings. Because of the degree that I have, there are many career paths that I can take, and it is difficult to say now where I will be in the future. Overall, I am simply hoping to specialise in something I’m passionate about." 

Two female nursing students using breathing apparatus on a female mannequin

Find out more about this apprenticeship

Read more about the MSc Nursing (Adult), including what it entails and how to get into this programme.

Find out more about the Registered Nurse Degree Apprenticeship MScFind out more about the Registered Nurse Degree Apprenticeship MSc