In December 2015 the government announced plans to introduce a new ‘Nursing Associate’, compared to many as the modern-day State Enrolled Nurse or SEN – Health Education England (HEE) has now launched its consultation.
This new role was announced by the Department of Health in December alongside significant changes to the routes and pathways into Nursing, it is claimed these steps will ensure there will be sufficient Nurses in the future to meet the ever-increasing demand and open up spaces for a more vocational style of study.
According to the HEE website, “The new role is expected to work alongside care assistants and registered nurses to deliver hands-on care, focusing on ensuring patients continue to get the compassionate care they deserve. This new role has the potential to transform the nursing and care workforce and making sure the role has a clear entry and progression point will be crucial in its development.”
They also state, “Overall, we want to create a new type of care worker with a higher skillset to assist, support and complement the care given by registered nurses.”
Unions have heavily criticised the role claiming it will lead to more confusion around and responsibilities to both the healthcare workforce and patients.
Many Nurses have compared the new roles to that of the State Enrolled Nurse (SEN) that was abolished as part of ‘Project 2000’.
The consultation is open to anyone interested in the new role including; patients and users of health and social care, nurses, care assistants, employers, students, educationalists and healthcare organisations.