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Nursing Associates

Nursing Associates to be Introduced in 2017

Nursing Notes

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Nursing Associate

The Government has today announced that it plans to introduce a “Nursing Associate” role to help bridge the gap between trained Nurses and healthcare assistants / support staff. 

Over a thousands perspective candidates are expected to start their “hands-on” training in early 2017 which will culminate in a foundation degree.

According to the Department of Health, “Nursing Associates” will provide “hands-on” care allowing Nurses to spend increasing time on clinical duties and take more of a lead in decisions about patient care alongside medics. It is yet to be confirmed if these staff will be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

RELATED: NHS STUDENT BURSARY CUT

The Government plan a full consultation on the position, including the provisional title of “nursing associate”, which will begin in the New Year, led by national workforce planning body Health Education England

Health Minister, Ben Gummer said: “Hard-working NHS staff are the lifeblood of the NHS and with an ageing population and changing patient needs, it is vital that we look at new ways to help staff deliver high quality, safe care across the week”.

Directors of Nursing have declared their support for the idea, but the RCN has warned that it would be a “retrograde step” that risked creating a “second-level” role similar to the former state-enrolled nurses (SEN).

Although their role has yet to be fully explained, it has been speculated that the “Nursing Associate” role will be similar to that of an “Associate Practitioner” or “AP” and will be paid as Band 4 after training has completed.

The NMC has released a statement regarding the announcement of Nursing Associates, you can read it in full here. They prompt the government to take special consideration to “whether nursing associates should be regulated” and “it will be important that any new routes into the profession have the same robust approach that the existing university degree route provides”.

You can view the Department of Health’s Infographic on ‘Route into Nursing‘, which was released following the announcement explaining how Nursing Associates can “top-up” to a degree in order to obtain NMC Registration. 

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Nursing Associates

Nursing associates could be the answer to the NHS staffing crisis

James M

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Nursing associates could be the answer to the NHS staffing crisis

Nursing associates could be the answer to the NHS staffing crisis as many healthcare trusts struggle to recruit and retain registered nurses.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) estimates there are around 40,000 nursing and midwifery vacancies, which, alongside a significant reduction in student nurses means an influx of nursing associates could go some way to alleviating the pressure on front-line services.

The majority of trainee nursing associates were previously very experienced healthcare assistants with a vast amount of untapped practical knowledge and despite some initial teething problems extra staff will be a welcome sight for many.

According to Health Education England (HEE) the nursing associate role is designed to sit between healthcare support workers (HCAs) and registered nurses (RNs) to assist in delivering hands-on care for patients.

In January, the Nursing and Midwifery Council announced it would create a new part of the NMC register specifically for nursing associates.

Presently, around 2000 trainee nursing associates are taking part in the pilot scheme with the first cohort are due to qualify in January 2019.

We have approached the Royal College of Nursing and Nursing and Midwifery Council for comment. 

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Nursing Associates

HMRC say nursing associates do not qualify for tax exemptions

Ian Snug

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HMRC say nursing associates do not qualify for tax exemptions

NHS Employers have confirmed that nursing associates do not qualify for tax exemption under the HMRC Widening Access Training (WAT) scheme.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have taken the view the role does not qualify for the tax and national insurance (NI) exemptions on the basis that the income received is more similar in nature to a salary than a scholarship income.

In order to be eligible for a refund, or receive payments free of tax and NI contributions, applicants need to satisfy certain qualifying conditions. These are: either an employee receives an income as part of a scholarship or bursary; or receives full-time instruction at a recognised university or similar establishment open to the public.

HMRC have taken the view that the payments received by trainees are subject to superannuation contributions, where progression can be made on a salary scale, making them more characteristic of a salary rather than the receipt of a bursary or similar endowment. It is also considered that as the majority of training is provided in-post by the NHS, with possibly only one day per week spent at an educational establishment, this does not satisfy the qualifying conditions.

NHS Employers is advising Nursing Associates who have received differing advise to contact HMRC by emailing [email protected] or calling 03000 555798.

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