First nursing associate makes the leap to registered nurse

A nurse from Derby has paved the way for trainee nursing associates.

Matt Bodell
29 October 2019
Ronald Duco

Ronald is the first person in the country to progress from a registered nursing associate to a registered nurse.

A registered nurse from Derby is leading the way for trainee nursing associates after becoming the first in the country to progress from a registered nursing associate to a registered nurse.


Originally a registered nurse in the Philippines, Ronald Duco joined the University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust as a healthcare assistant in 2014.

Shortly after joining the trust, Ronald was accepted onto the nursing associate foundation programme at the University of Derby where he graduated earlier this year with a distinction alongside a prestigious Dean’s Award.

Ronald then took an “unconventional route”, combining his foundation degree, successful completion of the OSCE and computer-based skills test for overseas applicants with his prior experience as a nurse to meet the criteria for registration as a nurse with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

An ‘unconventional’ route.

Speaking exclusively to NursingNotes about his journey, Ronald explained that this unique process was lengthy and “not easy” but admitted it had been worth it.


Simon Gibson, Senior Clinical Educator at University Hospitals of Derby and Burton, said;“Ronald is an exceptional Nurse who has shown determination and compassion throughout his time at UHDB.

“It’s really important that we work with our staff to create individualised development programmes. Ronald was a qualified Nurse in the Philippines and we have been able to work with him to create a pathway to Nursing.

“While it’s been unconventional route we’re really pleased that Ronald has gained the right qualifications and experience to meet the NMC registration criteria.”

A progression route to nursing.

Emma Westcott, Assistant Director of Strategy at the NMC, clarified on social media that while this was not a route the regulator had developed “it works for some providers and potential registrants”.


In a statement later adding; “We want to congratulate Ronald on joining our register now as a nurse and wish him the best of success in his career.

“We have worked hard with partner organisations to ensure that the Nursing Associate is a valued role in its own right, while also a progression route to nursing for those with the desire and potential to progress.

“It typically takes at least 18 months to progress to a nursing qualification. “

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