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Mother and daughter apprentices at University of Suffolk in Ipswich shine spotlight on role of nursing associates





A mother and daughter who are on the same nursing apprenticeship scheme have shined a spotlight on their chosen career.

Jayne and Jodie Goodall are both undertaking a FdA Health and Wellbeing (Nursing Associates) degree apprenticeship at the University of Suffolk in Ipswich.

Jodie, 20, is in her first year, while mum Jayne, 49, is in her second.

Jodie (left) and Jayne (right) Goodall are undertaking apprenticeships at the University of Suffolk. Picture: UoS
Jodie (left) and Jayne (right) Goodall are undertaking apprenticeships at the University of Suffolk. Picture: UoS

The pair wished to highlight the pivotal role of nursing associates following International Nurses Day on May 12.

Jayne recalled growing tired of her old job as a learning support assistant in schools during the Covid-19 pandemic and decided to switch.

After landing a role with her local district nursing teams, she worked her way up, she said.

Jayne said: “My manager asked if I would like to do this course and I went for it.

Jodie wants to become a registered nurse, while Jayne wants to stay on as a nursing associate. Picture: UoS
Jodie wants to become a registered nurse, while Jayne wants to stay on as a nursing associate. Picture: UoS

“I never thought at my age I would do an apprenticeship, and being a mature learner, I couldn’t afford to take three years out on a degree, so the apprenticeship route is perfect for me.”

Jodie originally had her eyes set on a paramedic science course but lacked the experience to secure a place and also considered becoming a midwife.

Having studied health and social care at college, she then decided on nursing.

Nursing associates were introduced by the government in 2017 to bridge the gap between registered nurses and healthcare assistants.

As part of the role, they could assist registered nurses, deliver independent care, administer medication and dress wounds in a variety of settings, such as GPs, hospitals and care homes.

For their courses, Jodie and Jayne spend three days per week with employers.

Jayne, who works at East Suffolk and North Essex Foundation Trust (ESNEFT), said she enjoyed learning on the job as it allowed her to apply skills learned during her course quickly.

She described being a nursing associate as a ‘real hands-on, patient-facing role’.

Jodie, who works at Nuffield Health Ipswich Hospital, said: “All of the theory helps me to understand and think about it before I put it into practice.”

The pair said they found the ability to support each other helpful.

Jayne said: “It’s been a long time since I have been to school and returning to learning can be daunting, so without Jodie I wouldn’t have got this far.

“But the first year was great and the second year has upped the ante, so I am enjoying the challenge.”

Jodie has yet to find a placement but said advice from her mum assured her she would be fine.

“When I was in college I struggled so I really think that confidence has improved since I started this apprenticeship,” she said.

Jodie is keen to go onto become a registered nurse, specialising in a field such as orthopaedics or gynaecology, while Jayne wants to stay on as a nursing associate.

“I still have plenty of time to focus on my learning and get the experience I need,” Jodie said.

The University of Suffolk recently joined a partnership to form the East of England Centre of Excellence for Health Apprenticeships (CEHA), which aims to plug gaps in the healthcare sector.

Other institutes involved are the College of West Anglia, East Coast College, Suffolk New College, Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care System and Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care System.