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Case Study

Sarah, Nursing Associate at Fairmile Grange

Fully supported by Encore, Sarah successfully completed two years training at Bournemouth and Poole College to progress from a Healthcare Assistant to become a Registered Nursing Associate.

Sarah joined Encore in 2017 as a Healthcare Assistant. She had previous experience as an HCA and always wanted to train to become a nurse but could not afford to be a full-time student. Due to family commitments, she took a role as Customer Service Manager in retail before her passion for care saw her return to the sector and join Fairmile Grange. Having already achieved her Level 3 in Health and Social Care, Sarah quickly progressed to a Senior HCA at Encore within 6 months.

The Home Manager recognised Sarah’s enthusiasm to learn more and develop further, and suggested applying for the new course affiliated with Bournemouth University to help her achieve her ultimate dream of becoming a nurse.

Funded by Encore through the apprenticeship scheme, Sarah is part of the first cohort of Nursing Associates to complete this training in Dorset, and we are incredibly proud of her achieving a distinction in the L5 Foundation Degree in Trainee Nursing Associate.

“I have a family and couldn’t entertain the idea of giving up work to become a full-time student for 3 years. The opportunity that Encore presented me with was a life-saver and gave me the hope that my end goal to become a nurse could still be in reach.”

Sarah’s hard work and dedication now means she is on the NMC register and is trained in a wide range of clinical skills in line with NMC standards of proficiencies for Nursing Associates. We supported Sarah throughout her course – not only to fund her training but also to continue to pay Sarah’s contracted shifts as a Senior Healthcare Assistant whilst she attended college for one day a week, and during her 6-week block placements at other institutions as part of her studies.

Sarah’s placements included an adult learning disabilities home, the Macmillan Unit, and a placement at a Covid ward at Royal Bournemouth Hospital.

“Before I started the course, I was reluctant to move from the first floor in Fairmile Grange, let alone go to work at other homes.

The skills and the knowledge that I have learnt has been invaluable. I have gained so much more confidence in adapting to situations and being able and willing to support residents and colleagues at our other homes. I have worked at all three of our homes in Dorset now when extra support has been needed.”

Sarah has been involved in developing the new role of Registered Nursing Associate within Encore and was also invited to interview the next cohort of Trainee Nursing Associates at Bournemouth & Poole College and be part of the NMC validation for the course.

“It feels fantastic to have achieved this qualification alongside working full time. It is a very exciting point in my career to know I have made a big leap in my personal progression. I could not have done it without the financial support and encouragement from Encore. It means that I can help residents and colleagues even more now with the skills and training that I have received.”

Sarah’s ambition continues and her goal is to continue her studies to achieve a bachelor’s degree in Nursing to become a fully-fledged Registered Nurse. And Encore will be supporting her in her all the way to achieve this aspiration!