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Top marks for CHCP nursing apprentice

14 February, 2023


Emma Marston, one of City Health Care Partnership’s registered degree nurse apprentices on the Academy for Clinical Excellence (ACE) scheme, has won the prestigious Michelle Harris prize for the highest marks in her year.

Emma scored an average of 92.7% in her first-year assignments, a truly impressive achievement. Now halfway through her second year, Emma is growing in skills and confidence as she continues her journey to become a registered nurse.

“I was an administrator for CHCP’s treatment rooms service,” she explains, “but when the chance came up to apply for the nursing apprenticeship, I jumped at it. It’s such a supportive programme and you learn so much, but what sets it apart is that you get paid to do it!”

Jo Deighton is CHCP’s operational practitioner for clinical service development and one of the architects of the apprenticeship programme. “We wanted to open nursing apprenticeships up to people who don’t already have healthcare experience but who are keen to learn,” she says. “We’re giving people who already work at CHCP the opportunity to become skilled clinicians, in partnership with the education providers.

“For example, if someone is working as an administrator and successfully applies for a healthcare apprenticeship through our Academy of Clinical Excellence, not only do we pay their tuition fees via the apprenticeship levy but also their salary, meaning the team where they were working can backfill their old job. This makes it possible for people who may have families or other commitments to get a healthcare qualification without having to worry about how they will repay debts at the end of the course.

“It’s a great way to keep valuable colleagues within CHCP while also growing our own skilled and experienced nurses of the future.”

Emma’s wife Becky came straight from a night shift as a doctor to help celebrate. “Emma works incredibly hard,” she says. “She puts in so much time, she really deserves this. She’s even a course rep at the university, supporting the other students.”

The award comes with a cheque for £250, which was a surprise to Emma. “I’m just really enjoying the course. I’m currently on placement with the West Hull community nursing team and I love it. The team are so supportive, I really like being out and about seeing patients. Ideally, I’d like to get a job with this team when I qualify.”

The prize was presented by members of Glynford and Lindsey Lions Club in memory of Michelle Harris, a nursing student at Hull University who tragically died in a car crash just after qualifying. The award was established in 1999 and is presented to the student with the highest aggregate mark in their first year.

“We’re so proud of Emma,” says Jo. “She’s an absolute credit to CHCP and I’m sure she’ll be an inspiration to others who want to take this route into a nursing career.”