Norton Healthcare announces first nursing apprenticeship program in the US

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The first nursing apprenticeship program in the country is here in Kentucky, offering a way for nursing students to get hands-on experience while earning cash. 

On Thursday morning, Norton Healthcare held a press conference at the Norton Healthcare Learning Center at 9500 Ormsby Station Road to talk about its first nursing apprenticeship program. 

"This program is the three tier program where you're paired with a nurse and you get one- on- one experience with a nurse," nursing apprentice, Maddie Clem said. 

It's a way for students to get paid experience.

"I'm already, as a student, learning things that nurses do," Clem said.  "I apply monitors with the nurse, I check vitals."

Nursing students have to be in their junior year of college at least -- or working on an Associate's Degree -- to qualify. 

The students start the program by shadowing to find a focus, "which is great because a lot of times in nursing school you have no idea what you want to do," Clem said. 

Clem chose to work in the labor and delivery unit. 

Norton officials say the wages they're earning are competitive in the industry. It helps students gain confidence, while Norton Healthcare is making sure there are enough qualified workers to fill thousands of empty nursing positions in the future. 

Students have to apply for the program. It lasts anywhere from a year to a year-and-a-half. 

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