LOUISVILLE (WHAS11) – Norton Healthcare announced the creation of Kentucky’s first registered apprenticeship program for nurses. The Student Nurse Apprenticeship Program is a paid apprenticeship that provides educational and clinical experiences over 12 to 18 months in preparation for a registered nurse role after graduation.

“We know the value in having highly trained nurses and other professionals to help us meet the health care needs of our community,” said Russell F. Cox, president and chief executive officer, Norton Healthcare. “By offering an apprenticeship for nurses, we not only help individual students reach their goals, but we help ensure we continue to have these highly trained professionals.”

The apprenticeship will be registered with the Kentucky Labor Cabinet.

“This program will reinforce nursing education and awareness of the professional nurse role, as well as help increase the students’ self-confidence and understanding of organizational structure and operations within a world-class health care setting,” said Tracy E. Williams, DNP, R.N., senior vice president and system chief nursing officer, Norton Healthcare.

Student nurses in their junior year of a Bachelor of Science in a nursing program, or with one semester completed of an associate degree in nursing program, may apply. During the apprenticeship, students receive hands-on learning with an experienced mentor in the Norton Healthcare system.

Norton Healthcare has had training programs like this for many years, this one is the first to be registered with the state.

“Innovative training programs, like this one at Norton Healthcare, deserve to be celebrated,” said Gov. Bevin. “I have challenged Kentucky employers to think and act boldly, and Norton Healthcare has answered that challenge in an impressive way. This apprenticeship program is one of the first of its kind in the country and will be transformational for Norton’s workforce. I believe it will inspire other employers around Kentucky to explore ways that apprenticeships can take their business — and Kentucky — to the next level.”

“The ‘Kentucky Trained. Kentucky Built.’ registered apprenticeship initiative encompasses a new era of apprenticeable trades never before seen in the Commonwealth, and today provides a fitting example of this,” said Sec. Ramsey. “Nursing is a new frontier for apprenticeships, but with Norton Healthcare’s vision, we couldn’t be more excited to partner with them and the new student nurse apprentices who are taking advantage of this wonderful program to further their careers. It’s a win for Norton Healthcare, the apprentices, and the entire healthcare community as we continue to seek ways to address the workforce needs in this critical industry.”