This important initiative is a key component of the government and HEE’s commitment to build capacity to care and capability to treat within the health and care workforce for today, and to meet future needs. The nursing associate will be a challenging, rewarding and valuable role in itself, and will provide a route into the registered nurse degree as part of the over-arching nursing career framework.

The Nursing Associate role is a new support role that will sit alongside existing healthcare support workers and fully-qualified registered nurses to deliver hands-on care for patients. Following huge interest over 2,000 people started training with providers across England from 2016.

The two-year programme aims to test the ability of education and service providers to deliver a high quality and innovative work based learning programme of education and training for Trainee Nursing Associates. This is important to:

      • Ensure the role can successfully support Registered Nurses in a variety of settings to care for patients and the communities they serve

      • Ensure the ongoing sustainability of the role and its alignment with work-based learning routes such as graduate nurse apprenticeships

       • Support progression into pre-registration nursing programmes for those who wish to pursue a career in nursing.

Nursing Associates and Trainee Nursing Associates are work under Registered Nurses carrying out some of the more routine tasks, allowing Registered Nurses to spend more time with patients, especially those with more complex needs.

The Nursing Associate and Trainee Nursing Associates role gives those working in the health and social care sector the opportunity to progress to become a Registered Nurse, training on the job without the need to study full-time. It is hoped that this will lead to increasing the number of registered Nurses working in health and social care over the coming years. 

Hear how two Trainee Nursing Associates are providing care to patients in Barnsley.


OU – Free Online Resources and Nursing Associate Preparatory Learning Resources

The Open University are offering free online resources to help prepare anyone considering a career as a Nursing Associate. The OU have also made the following content available at no cost to those working in health and social care who want to refresh their knowledge and understanding as they return into practice or move their location to a new setting. It is completely free to use, individuals do not need to register to use any of the programmes, they can start and stop learning as required and can dip into courses to use just the part that is most useful to them.

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