Apprentice of the Year entrant – Rachel Shingler
Rachel Shingler has been described as ‘really amazing’ and praised for boosting morale by her colleagues on ward 76B at the Royal Stoke University Hospital.
Rachel graduates this summer after completing a Nursing Associate Apprenticeship as a mature student with Staffordshire University and has been nominated in the Apprentice of the Year category of the Staffordshire University Business Awards.
Ewelina Ajazi, Deputy Ward Manager of Ward 76B, has worked with Rachel since 2015.
She said: “Rachel was working as a nursing assistant when I came as a student nurse and we got to know each other. I then slowly climbed up the ladder and Rachel applied for Nurse Associate training.”
Rachel is now a registered practitioner and can do most of the work that nurses do including give medication other than IV medication.
“Rachel has been really, really amazing,” said Ewelina. “She’s fun, outgoing and easy to approach. She’s honest and very hard working. People love her because she gets the job done and has an amazing rapport with patients.”
She said Rachel has introduced a staff reward to keep morale high on the ward, which has now been adopted and continued by the team.
Ewelina added: “Rachel has been through some challenging times but she has kept going. I don’t think there’s anyone that would have a bad word to say about her.”
Rachel started her apprenticeship in 2019 and completed it in 2023 alongside working full time.
Classed as a foundation degree course, her apprenticeship saw her work alongside a nurse to learn aspects of the job and to become registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council.
The course included a placement with the accident and emergency department where she gained a number of new skills and worked with patients she would not otherwise have had the opportunity to treat.
In 2020 Rachel was presented with an award by University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust to recognise her professional progress on the apprenticeship.