Shuqrah Muheeb is one of 150 nurses currently undertaking the Nurse Degree Apprenticeship Programme. The scheme is a partnership between Spire HealthCare and the University of Sunderland.
The 41-year-old’s own journey into motherhood was the inspiration to become a nurse.
Previously working in administration for an engineering company, then as a business analyst, it was after the traumatic premature birth of her daughter at 30 weeks, and the care both mum and baby received through the NHS, her mind was made up.
Shuqrah explains: “Although my grandmother had always encouraged me before she passed to do nursing, I finally decided to pursue this career path due to premature childbirth.
“A few years ago, I fell into labour early and my baby was born very early with a 50/50 chance of survival. Luckily, she survived. The quality of care we both received was top notch, that I felt indebted to give back to the industry.”
She began work with Spire South Bank Hospital in Worcester, as a Registered Nurse Degree Apprenticeship.
Shuqrah originally from the West Midlands, says she chose an apprenticeship programme because it was so practical: “I am a hands-on person and this route suits me best.
“It’s interesting as I have the opportunity to learn from teams of experts who are not only brilliant at what they do but also happy to impact their knowledge to the upcoming professionals. Above all, it is debt free as I don’t have to get a loan to pay my tuition nor am I going to pay back my school fees. I am being paid while I study and learn.”
As one of the first set of apprentices to be based at the hospital, it took a while to adjust, however, she says she’s now settled in, and work is getting better.
She added: “I want to make ultimate use of all the skills and knowledge I am learning by putting them into practice, so as to give back a high-quality service delivery.”
Asked about her plans for the future, Shuqrah says: “I plan to be an exemplary and professional nurse in my chosen area of specialisation. To also pursue a higher qualification and undergo the necessary training that is relevant to my chosen career pathway.”
Shuqrah says an apprenticeship is a great way to become professionally qualified.
“It’s a hands-on learning pathway, which reduces the financial burden,” she says. “You will always have experienced and qualified tutors/lecturers, mentors, assessors etc, to learn from or to mentor you.”
She also advises: “If you begin an apprenticeship don’t be frustrated with the challenges that may come your way during your journey, remember, no career is stress free. “However, with hard work, determination, selflessness, patience and resilience you will achieve success.”
Asian Standard has learned a record number of employers across the country have now signed up to the University of Sunderland’s Higher and Degree Apprenticeship Programmes working in partnership to develop a highly skilled workforce thriving into the future.
Hazel Rounthwaite, Head of Work-Based Learning at the University of Sunderland said: “We put employer engagement at the forefront of what we do. All our apprenticeships are developed in collaboration with a wide range of employers to ensure they are meeting skills gaps, business needs and guaranteeing currency.
“Apprenticeships are a fantastic vehicle for enabling employers to access a wider talent pool in addition to providing skills development for existing employees. It is ideal as funding is available to cover tuition fees and an apprentice employee can earn whilst they learn.”
For more information visit www.sunderland.ac.uk