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Birmingham Hospice welcomes first Nursing Associate

22 February 2024

Eight years ago, Becky became a volunteer at the Living Well Centre in Erdington. Since then, she has become a familiar face around the hospice as a Healthcare Assistant. 

Now, Becky has become Birmingham Hospice’s first-ever Nursing Associate; working hard over the last two years to achieve her dream job in nursing, all while still working at the hospice.  

The course takes place over two years, studying with Birmingham City University one day a week and completing several placements across the other days, as well as studying for exams and assessments.  

“In 2014 I started off as a volunteer hostess and driver for the Living Well Centre,” Becky explained.  

“My grandad, nan and uncle were all cared for by the hospice as our family lives locally in Kingstanding. I wanted to give my time back. 

“In 2015 the manager at the time asked me if I was interested in a role as a Healthcare Assistant, which I applied for and was successful. 

“The hospice then put me through my NVQ Level 3 in Health and Social Care, which I was really happy with. I have always wanted to progress my career if the opportunity came up.”  

So, when it was announced that the hospice would be taking on a Trainee Nursing Associate, Becky jumped at the chance.  

Nursing Associates bridge the gap between Healthcare Assistants and Registered Nurses to offer expert care for patients.  

“Once I applied for the role and was accepted, I had placements in a different healthcare setting one day a week, three days at the hospice, and one day studying. 

“I was able to take the kind of care we offer here at the hospice to my other placements. I always made sure to speak directly to patients – something I think is missed in busier environments. 

“During the two years I was constantly revising and completing assessments. It was intense, but I had a great support unit here at the hospice.”  

Becky started her new role as a Nursing Associate working in our Inpatient Units (IPU) at the start of the year, and said she is enjoying the challenge.  

“I just think anything is achievable if you put your mind to it; hard work does pay off,” she added.  

“If people feel they can commit to the training, then they should absolutely do it.  

“I do feel like I have found my feet in this role. I said right from the start of the course that I never had any intention of leaving once I finished. I am so grateful to the hospice for putting me through this qualification.  

“From starting as a volunteer to then becoming a Nursing Associate, I never imagined it in my wildest dreams.”  

Julie Bennett, Living Well Centre Lead, said: “This is a huge achievement for Becky, and for the hospice. 

“We are so proud of her for demonstrating her incredible work ethic throughout the two years and continuing to support our patients despite a lot of pressure.  

“We are sad to lose Becky in the Living Well Centre, but we know she will be an amazing asset to the IPU Team, and we wish her all the best.”