Dear Sir,

The article concerning the above reminded me of July 1949 when I was accepted as a Cadet Nurse at Bishop Auckland General Hospital, aged 16.

This was a new scheme that served as an introduction to training as a State Registered Nurse. October 1950 saw the introduction of this training course which was a combination of theory and practice on each individual type of ward or unit. Continuous training and assessments were thoroughly followed with an examination which was written and practical. For the latter we had to attend a hospital at Gateshead. The state final was held after three years of training.

Day shifts varied but consisted of a 48 hour week and night duty covered 50 hours over five nights, though we did have a two hour break each night. After qualifying I spent many happy years working as a Theatre Sister before training as a Health Visitor after getting married and having three children. I was most fortunate to be able to work and train as what would be considered to be an apprenticeship.

Happy days indeed.

Unfortunately, with the introduction of Project 2,000 things changed and fees for a degree were introduced. Surely the re-introduction of an apprenticeship type scheme would boost the number of applicants.

Yours sincerely

PC (Name and address supplied)