GOBOWEN’S specialist Orthopaedic Hospital has welcomed its first group of trainee nurse associates who are set to begin their training alongside Staffordshire University.

The 11 students will start their roles at the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital (RJAH) later in September.

Alongside this, the students will also spend time at Staffordshire University to learn the theory required to provide high-quality, safe and compassionate care.

The two-year foundation degree will train a brand-new group of nurse associates in a bid to bridge the gap in skills between healthcare assistants and registered nurses.

Jayne Johnson, clinical placement facilitator at the hospital, said the roles are very important for the hospital and the future care of patients.

She said: “It’s vital we give a new generation of staff the education and practical skills they need to deliver outstanding, hands-on care.

“The programme, which the trainee nurse associates will undertake for two years, combines both academic learning and work-based training in a clinical setting through close collaboration between RJAH and Staffordshire University.

“I’d also like to thank Rachel Owen, the trust’s clinical placement facilitator support nurse, who has worked so hard during this recruitment drive and Debi Clutton, practice development nurse, who will be supporting our trainee nurse associates in practice to ensure they meet all their clinical requirements.”

The trainee nurse associates who were successful are Paris Bartley, Claire Baines, Jeremy Chavez, Sapna Davies, Sarah Graham, Georgina Hessey, Katie Jones, Ronnie Taylor, Kim Thomas, Katie Williams, and Kate Wrigley. All of them hold substantive posts as healthcare assistants at RJAH.

Allen Edwards, RJAH learning and development advisor, insists the programme will give the successful candidates will have the opportunity to work in different parts of the NHS system.

He said: “Throughout their programme, the trainee nurse associates will have the opportunity to work in different parts of our NHS system in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin.

“At the end of the two-year apprenticeship, our trainee nurse associates will be equipped with knowledge, skills, and competencies to be a successful nurse associate to work to a nationally recognised code of conduct.”

Once they have completed their course, the nurse associates will become registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council and will be able to work within NHS settings to deliver high-quality patient care.