England’s first nursing cadets start placement

The programme is designed for those who would not have otherwise considered or be eligible for a course in nursing.

Matt Bodell
7 June 2021

The scheme offers a blended and transformational learning opportunity for cadets.

Fifteen nursing cadets from Holly Lodge Combined Cadet Force began their placements this week at Sandwell and West Birmingham (SWB) NHS Trust.

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The Royal College of Nursing’s Prince Of Wales Nursing Cadet Scheme offers a blended and transformational learning opportunity for cadets, helping them to improve their confidence, skills and knowledge and helps raise awareness of health care careers, including nursing.

The scheme was created in 2017 with a proposal to work with the nursing profession to widen the opportunities for young people, who would not otherwise consider following or be eligible to follow a course in nursing or other health and social care related careers.

Once they have completed their placements, cadets submit a portfolio of reflection and gain a completion certificate. They are then supported to take decisions on next steps, which can include a level 2 or 3 related diploma, a foundation degree or an undergraduate nursing degree.

It comes following changes to major undergraduate nursing education in 2011 which removed opportunities from those who had not undertaken A-Levels or other equivalent qualifications.

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Attract the very best talent.

Mel Roberts, Interim Chief Nurse at SWB NHS Trust, said that supporting the scheme is of paramount importance to the trust.

“As we open what promises to be Europe’s busiest emergency hospital – the Midland Metropolitan University Hospital – next year, we are keen to attract the very best talent in new entrants to the health profession,” she added.

Sandy Harding, Head of the RCN Prince of Wales Nursing Cadet Scheme, added: “Two years on and we are delighted to have launched the scheme beyond Wales, into England, and have our first cadets reach placement stage here in the West Midlands.”

Nursing cadet Sukhpal Singh said: “The nursing cadet scheme has been so good. I’ve learned so much and gained an insight that health care roles are much more than just treating patients.

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“The placement element is so important because you get to see what you’ve learned in practice, and actually see it in a real-life scenario.”

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