AN aspiring nurse has begun her apprenticeship journey towards a career at a hospital in Warrington.

Mary Suddaby will undertake a four-year nurse degree apprenticeship after successfully passing a rigorous application process and assessment to join Spice Healthcare’s apprenticeship programme.

Before this, Mary spent 18 months gaining healthcare experience as a healthcare assistant at the Countess of Chester Hospital.

Her apprenticeship will see her working at Spire Cheshire Hospital in Stretton.

Mary said: “I always wanted to train as a registered nurse, and my first impressions of Spire Cheshire Hospital were very positive.”

She is one of 12 new nursing apprentices welcomed at 11 of Spire’s English hospitals as part of its expanding apprenticeship programme, which aims to support national shortages in the healthcare system.

The new nursing apprentices will get the opportunity for remote studying with The University of Sunderland, as well as placements in a wide range of nursing settings to prepare them for their future nursing careers.

Apprentices will benefit from earning while they are learning, with a starting salary of around £21,000, depending on previous experience.

Professor Lisa Grant, group clinical director and chief nurse of Spice Healthcare, said: “Nurses have a vital role in delivering care and support to patients while in and out of hospital.

“This apprenticeship programme helps introduce more people into the profession.”

Some of Spire’s 160 nursing apprentices graduated in November 2023 with high honours, delivering critically needed nursing skills directly into the UK healthcare sector.

Spire is currently training and supporting 500 apprentices across a variety of clinical and non-clinical specialities.

Recently, Spire Healthcare was named Employer of the Year during its University of Sunderland and MTC Training Awards.

Sue Brent, head of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences at The University of Sunderland, added: “The Registered Nurse Degree Apprenticeship plays a major role in developing future talent for Spire and the healthcare system as a whole.”