February 2024

Blog | National Apprenticeship Week spotlight – Kennedy Bowman

By Carrie Mok

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This week we’re celebrating all things apprenticeships across our website and social media platforms. We’ll be hearing from our fantastic apprentices who are training in all sorts of fields – from nursing and care workers to construction and team leaders, as well as the employers that are working with them and our own staff who support both sides by creating bespoke programmes of training.

Kennedy Bowman is a Senior Nurse and is one of the apprentices training within University College of Birmingham’s Centre of Apprenticeships. She started her third apprenticeship with us, her Level 3 Team Leader/Supervisor, after previously completing apprenticeships for nursing associate and her degree top-up to become a registered nurse working in mental health.

Her passion for working in healthcare began after being inspired by a community nurse that came to her house to visit her father, who was unwell. “I just used to sit with her all the time, and she just made it really welcoming. It then kind of stopped being really sad and we made it more of a nice memory. From then, I've always wanted to do some sort of nursing or healthcare -  I just wasn't sure which one I preferred to do, but I think mental health is just as important as physical health and it's just what I was more interested in when I looked into it.”

This passion for working in mental health led to Kennedy applying to work at Cygnet, where she initially started in a support worker role. “I’ve never been someone to stand still!” she exclaimed. “Before I'd even been there six months, I was talking to my manager about what the opportunities there are to progress.” Kennedy’s manager recommended her for a nurse associate role, and supported her through the application.

Kennedy received a Learner of the Year award from her employer Cygnet, alongside another apprentice training with University College Birmingham - David Sanchez Heredia. 

While on her nursing associate apprenticeship, Kennedy was able to work and gain on-the-job training at the same time. Her existing relationship with the team at Cygnet helped boost her knowledge further, “I felt that I would have been able to get the best knowledge and skills because I can choose placements I'm more interested in and I have an already solidified relationship with the teams and the university team.”

This led to her degree apprenticeship, where she achieved excellent marks and received a Florence Nightingale award, as well as Cygnet Group’s Learner of the Year award.

“It's really helped my report writing. It’s also really helped my skills in working with patients and the way that we have discussions. Even my compassion and my empathy for them, not that it wasn't there before, has definitely improved. When you go onto a course, you see so many different places, you see things from the other side which has helped me support them better.”

Now on her Level 3 Team Leader/Supervisor apprenticeship, Kennedy has been learning the managerial aspect of the job. “Having that kind of all-round view of how everything works together just makes everything so much more helpful when you know exactly how you are helping the patients.”

Ultimately, for Kennedy the most important aspect is in working with the patients and helping them, “When I see patients come in who are quite unwell but then they get to the point of being better and leaving us as they're in a much better place - that's just amazing to see.”

Find out more about how apprenticeships work and how they could change your career journey here.

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