County Nurse Award Winner

Sophie Bettelley

Primary Care

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Sophie is on a Registered Adult Nursing Degree Apprenticeship, that began last year in September 2019. It is a four- year long course and completes in 2023. Sophie is 32 years old.

Prior to working in healthcare Sophie worked as a Project Manager. Sophie is married with two children, but she always wanted to become a nurse and was encouraged to change her career with the support that she received from her husband to fulfil her ambition.

Sophie began her career change by getting a role at her local surgery as a Healthcare Assistant, where she obtained clinical skills alongside her Level 4 Access qualifications. To her utter delight her manager put her forward for the degree. As Sophie is a working mum the degree involves a bit of a balancing act, Sophie works 15 hours a week as a Healthcare Assistant, and for the other 15 hours she is a Nurse Apprentice learning new skills through work placements. Her home base is at Mawsley Surgery where the majority of her placements will be, but she is about to begin a placement at Northampton General Hospital in Oncology. Throughout the four years there will be many different learning experiences, and at the end of the course Sophie really would prefer to become a Practice Nurse.

Her study time involves a day a week related to completing off the job learning, Sophie also spends about six hours at home studying. One of her greatest enjoyments is seeing patients succeed on their journey and supporting them holistically, the different experiences could be helping them get back on their feet, through weight loss or mental health issues. It is great to feel that you have made a positive difference to someone’s life.

But the real benefit of being on an apprenticeship scheme is that you are totally supported by mentors and learning all of the time and you then have the chance to put your learning into practice, which is fantastic as it makes learning so much easier.

Sophie has won the County Nurse Award, which is part of the National Apprenticeship Week Award. She was nominated as a nursing apprentice by the surgery; the award is related to Primary Care Nursing.  The nomination was a very big but lovely surprise and Sophie is delighted.

Even though Sophie is a full-time mum, she would absolutely recommend the apprenticeship programme, especially as she is a mature student. There are great opportunities and you are earning as you learn, so that helps ease the burden on the family, and as you learn you can put things into practice almost immediately.

The support Sophie has received from her colleagues and line managers is brilliant, they have attended every meeting with her, helped with her funding and they really want her to achieve her dreams.

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