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Nursing cadet scheme

The RCN Prince of Wales Nursing Cadet Scheme gives young members of uniformed organisations an introduction to potential careers in nursing.

Supported by HRH Prince of Wales, the scheme aims to develop and prepare young people aged 16 to 25 years for life and to support them towards employment in nursing.

About the program

The scheme runs alongside their usual uniformed organisation activities, combining guided online and experiential learning. This includes learning modules and a clinical observational placement within their local health care region. 

Once they have completed this, cadets submit a portfolio of reflection and gain a completion certificate. They are then supported to take decisions on next steps, which can include a level 2 or 3 related diploma, a foundation degree or an undergraduate nursing degree.

The scheme was selected as a finalist for the Nursing Times Awards 2021.

Nursing Times Awards 2021 Finalist

Where it’s running 

The scheme is currently running across England and Wales in conjunction with the army cadet forces, combined cadet forces, St John Ambulance Cymru and St John Ambulance England. 

We are currently working RCN Northern Ireland and RCN Scotland to look at the suitability of running the scheme within their regions.

Watch our videos

Our videos below give a bit of an insight into the cadet experience.

More information

For more information on the scheme, to get involved as cadet, uniformed organisation, or as a placement provider, please email

You can also follow us on Twitter at @NursingCadets and Instagram at @rcnpowscheme.

The staff there were very nice and gave me a good insight into their individual roles. I had lots to do like dining with the patients and playing games with them and doing wellness sessions and lots of other stuff.
I was shown how to administer medications and how to take their blood sugar levels which was interesting. All in all it was very eye-opening. Thank you for getting me the placement."

Katie, from Devon RCN Price of Wales Nursing Cadet Scheme participant
12 blog posts
  • Bobby Gould Bobby Gould 16 May 2022

    Prevention is better than cure

    RCN Prince of Wales Nursing Cadet Ambassador, Bobby Gould, talks about volunteering in Fiji to support people with mental health.

  • Alishia Squirrel Alishia Squirrel 13 Dec 2021

    A great insight into healthcare

    I have recently completed the Prince of Wales Cadet Scheme in Devon. I am currently doing my A levels at college and this additional course has given me great healthcare related experience.

  • Helen Hare Helen Hare 15 Nov 2021

    Celebrating our 200th Cadet

    I am Helen and I’m the project manager for the RCN Prince of Wales Nursing Cadet Scheme. This month we celebrate the joining of the scheme by our 200th cadet.