Welcome to the Registered Nurse Degree Apprenticeship (RNDA) Cost Calculator.


This calculator has been designed to allow you to calculate the cost of training registered nurse degree apprentices. You will be able to explore different delivery models and pay bands and generate your own organisational breakdown of salary costs during the training period for registered nurse apprentices. You will also be able to forecast your return on investment by reducing your nursing vacancy figures by “growing your own” registered nurse apprentice. All costs are in addition to those relating to budgeted posts in the establishment and an assumption has been made that apprentices will either be existing staff or filling budgeted vacanices.


Having inputted your current number of WTE nursing vacancies you will be able to compare the cost of training apprentices with the cost of filling the vacancies with agency nurses. You will then be able to use this data in board papers/proposals to gain approval for recruitment of Registered Nurse Degree Apprentices.


The information produced by this calculator is for illustration purposes only and organisations are advised to work with their finance colleagues to confirm that the assumptions made in the calculations are an accurate representation of your organisation’s information. Organisations are also advised to work with their HR colleagues and union colleagues when agreeing pay and terms and conditions to ensure you are compliant with the NHS Terms and Conditions of Service.

Background Data

Calculations made through this calculator are based on the following assumptions:

  • The 4-year RNDA programme and top-up programmes are built upon a model which assumes that 40% of the apprentice’s time is productive and 60% supernumerary.
  • Therefore, the additional cost to the trust of having an apprentice is purely the 60% supernumerary time, on the basis that the 40% productive time and the backfill for the 60% is productive return on cost and fulfilling a budgeted established post.
  • Annual cost to the trust per apprentice is therefore 60% of the salary you choose to pay the apprentice (and associated on-costs) minus the HEE support funding.
  • For 3-year RNDA programmes, it is assumed that the apprentice will be 100% supernumerary and therefore the cost is the full salary (and associated on costs) minus the HEE support funding.
  • On-costs have been calculated at 24% and added to the salary costs which are used to create these comparisons; if individual organisations use different percentages to estimate on-costs, this will need to be considered outside of the comparison provided by this tool.

To view the background data tables relating to costs RNDA costing model.