Cumbria Crack

Celebrating Nursing: Cumbria has excellent opportunities to train as a nurse

Gill Long

This International Nurses’ Day the NHS in Cumbria is shining a spotlight on the many different ways people can train to become a nurse in Cumbria.

12th May marks an annual celebration of the contributions that nurses make to society. Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT) and North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust (NCUH) are using this celebration to highlight the growing number of local routes into nursing.

Gill Long, head of nursing for clinical education at NCUH, explained: “There are more opportunities for trainee nurses in Cumbria than ever before. This has allowed us to keep more local talent in the area, give our staff the recognition they deserve and help them to reach their potential. It’s fantastic to see so many doors opened by the apprenticeships we now support, especially for staff who, for personal reasons, were not able to take the traditional university route.”

How can you become a nurse in Cumbria?

  • Cadets: Level 3 college course with placements. After two years cadets will have the qualifications, skills and experience needed to begin work as a health care assistant or to continue their nursing journey.
  • Nursing associate apprenticeship: two year programme open to staff from CPFT and NCUH to bridge the gap between health care assistants and registered nurses.
  • Nursing degree apprenticeships: apprenticeship route to a nursing degree open to CPFT and NCUH staff.
  • University degree: traditional route into nursing, three year university programme with placements.

When discussing why she chose an apprenticeship Louise Chapman, nursing associate apprentice at CPFT, said: “I feel an apprenticeship is an excellent way of learning for anyone. You get to learn on the job skills and you still get paid, this was the only way I could progress.”

Newly qualified nurses, those returning to the profession or new to the organisation complete a robust 12 month preceptorship period to ensure a safe and supportive transition into their role. It enables staff to take on more responsibility as they develop more skills.

A nursing career pathway tool has been developed by Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust to show the different opportunities available to staff. Available at:

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