Northampton mental health charity launches scholarships offering route to nursing career

Students can earn while learning on the job

Sunday, 1st August 2021, 10:03 am

A Northampton mental health charity has launched a new scholarship scheme aimed at helping less well-off students find a way into nursing.

St Andrew’s Healthcare, the UK’s largest mental health charity and a provider of specialist care in mental health and learning disability, says the extension to its ASPIRE Nursing programme is an amazing opportunity for 18-24 year olds who are passionate about a career in nursing and have the drive to attend university, but who do not have the financial support or qualifications needed.

Ten students will get the equivalent of £9,000 worth of education, paid employment for 18 months and exposure to clinical work.

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Students will get the chance to earn while learning on the job under the St Andrews scholarship scheme

They will also attend university with £18,000-a--year in financial support while studying with the guarantee of a staff nurse position at St Andrew's once they graduate.

Ged Rogers, Clinical Education Manager at St Andrew’s, said: “This is an amazing opportunity for young people to start a career in mental health or learning disability nursing with a leading mental health charity that offers high-quality holistic services within outstanding facilities.

"With this scholarship, people can earn while learning on the job. It is ideal for those who may not have the A level grades they wanted, or those who missed out on opportunities due to the pandemic

"Mental health and learning disability nursing are growing areas within healthcare with great career opportunities. We are looking for the talented nurses of the future to bring compassion and enthusiasm and become part of our healthcare teams, delivering brilliant care and helping transform the lives of our patients.

Northampton-based St Andrew's Healthcare is the UK's biggest mental health charity

"We encourage young people who are ambitious and looking for an alternative route into nursing to apply. We will support our students at every step of the way.”

Students will join St Andrew’s as Healthcare Assistants, working within clinical settings to gain experience. They will complete a Certificate in Higher Education in their first year, which enables them to transition into the second year of a nursing degree either in mental health or learning disability nursing.

Candidates must have a good GCSE grade in Maths and English. The closing date for applications is Sunday, August 15, 2021. Click HERE For more information.

The nursing scholarship is an extension of the successful ASPIRE Programme launched in 2016.

It enables healthcare assistants to combine their learning and experience and jump straight into the second year of the University of Northampton’s Mental Health Nursing degree – allowing them to complete a nursing degree in just two years.

Former builder Simon Austin signed up to the ASPIRE programme after deciding to change his career.

The 44-year-old, who is set to graduate and start his staff nurse position in September, said: “St Andrew’s is a great place to work with excellent facilities. It is very focused on training and helping people to progress.

"I started out as a healthcare assistant and never intended on becoming a qualified nurse. However, I did various training courses which built up my confidence academically, and then decided to take the next step in my career. It has been a fantastic opportunity for me."