Cadets tell why they want to be the future nurses of Cumbria

25 students started their cadetships in September. The two year course was made possible thanks to a collaborative approach to support training between Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Lakes College, North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust and Skills for Health. Thanks to this partnership the students are able to spend time in the classroom learning the principles of nursing but, also, through a buddy system with professionals and placements at North Cumbria's acute hospitals, community hospitals and community services the students will spend some time getting vital hands on experience.

Tracey Cook is one of the cadets who applied to the course as a mature student. She had always wanted to be a nurse, but life got in the way. She explained: 
“I went to college as a young girl studying health and community, but got a job in residential care because it was higher paid than being a student nurse. Then my son was born with a chronic illness and I had to spend a lot of time caring for him. He is now 17 and is more independent so I felt it was time I did something for myself. 
“The cadetship appealed to me because it is local and as I hadn't studied for 20 years, I am not up to date with technology so this cadetship was a good stepping stone for me to get where I want to be.
“I am looking forward to being qualified and being able to give back the same good level of care that my son received. There are some nurses or carers that you never forget because they provide such a good level of care and I want to have this effect on people.”

As a firefighter, Adele Sowerby only saw the forefront of injuries. When she completed a trauma course she realised nursing was what she wanted to do. She said:
“Being on call as a firefighter I was providing care but never seeing the care develop and never knowing how people have got on afterwards. I am really looking forward to getting stuck in with practically working with patients and finding out what my strengths are. After the course I want to go to university and get my nursing degree.”

At 16, Charles Peat is the youngest cadet. He was a carer for his grandmother and this made him realise that he wanted to be a nurse. He said: 
“Being a carer for my grandma made me want to care for others as well, it made me understand that this was what I wanted to do. 
“The course appealed to me because you get real life experience with real patients and you can get to know what being a nurse is like with the simulation ward in the college as well as the work experience. I want to go on to apply for university and be a qualified nurse at the end of this. I am looking forward to the placements in the different departments and getting to learn about each one.”