Oxford Health is growing a skilled workforce of the future by helping ambitious 16 to 19-year-olds begin their nursing careers with our Thames Valley Nurse Cadets programme.

The Year of the Nurse and Midwife 2020 recognises the skill, commitment and exceptional impact nursing staff have on the lives of our all our communities – and demonstrates rewarding career paths available to young prospective nurses.

Oxford Health will have 22 aspiring nurses joining us in a few weeks. Their first foot on the nursing career ladder started at two well-attended selection days in last month (July) supported by clinical teams – including inspirational talks from Chief Nurse Marie Crofts and Deputy Director of Nursing Kate Riddle, plus clinical staff sitting on interview panels.

The day was packed with activities, working with simulation equipment to take blood pressure, understanding a patient’s perspective, and discussing clinical scenarios.

The 22 cadets will join Oxford Health on September 7, 2020, beginning their journey with a four week bespoke induction at Unipart, then starting their clinical roles on October 5 2020.

The cadets join the trust on a Band 2 senior healthcare worker apprenticeship programme, which consists of four days of working and one day of studying per week.

After a two-year course, the cadet can choose to become a Band 3 health care assistant, proceed to a further two-year nursing associate training or to study for a degree to become a registered nurse.

Every cadet who completes the programme is guaranteed an interview for a healthcare assistant role – and an interview at the university if they wish to continue with their studies towards nursing registration.

The young people will work with both mental health teams and community services across the trust; including older peoples teams as well as adult mental health teams and many others.

Chief Nurse Marie Crofts commented: “We are delighted to welcome our new Nurse Cadets to our workforce. The Year of the Nurse 2020 is a time to recognise and celebrate the dedication and knowledge of our fellow nurses in the NHS. This is a great opportunity to inspire the younger generation, grow the Oxford Health workforce and provide excellent care to our patients. I am really excited to be leading this programme for our Cadets to enable them to embark on their nursing careers and I personally wish them every success.”

Nurse cadets project manager Sophie Grimshaw added: “I am so pleased our Nurse Cadets are joining us next month. It is a great opportunity for the younger generation to start their careers, find out what they enjoy and hopefully share our trust values and passion to provide the best possible care to our communities.”

If you would like further information, please email NurseCadets@oxfordhealth.nhs.uk