The Nursing and Midwifery Council has unveiled a list of ninety skills that nursing associates should be trained in.
The NMC’s draft skills annexe contains around 30 communication skills and 60 clinical procedures, including medicines management, drug calculations, and clinical assessment skills that nursing associates should be competent in.
2,000 trainee nursing associates are currently half-way through their two-year training programmes to become registered nursing associates.
In October 2017, the NMC released the draft standards of proficiency for nursing associates which will work alongside the annexe.
According to Health Education England (HEE), the controversial new role is intended to act as a bridge between healthcare assistants and registered staff. HEE has plans to train a further 45,000 nursing associates before 2027.
The list of skills include;
- Manage the administration of oxygen.
- Use appropriate nasal and oral suctioning techniques.
- Manage inhalation, humidifier and nebuliser devices.
- Manage airway and respiratory equipment.
- Carry out drug calculations for a range of medications.
- Administer drugs via oral, enteral, topical and inhalation routes.
- Administer injections using subcutaneous and intradermal routes.
- Observe and reassess a patients’ skin and hygiene status.
- Manage catheters for both genders.
- Provide stoma care.
- Recording and interpreting vital signs.
- Complete and interpret urinalysis results.
- Complete and interpret blood glucose results.
- Undertaking venepuncture and cannulation.
- ECG recording.
- Administer basic mental health and physical first aid.
- Undertake wound care using aseptic techniques.
- Appropriate escalation of clinical concerns.
- Understand ‘DNACPR’ decisions and verification of expected deaths.
Other skills include the management of end of life care patients, infection prevention and management, managing falls and supporting nutrition, hydration and sleep and providing holistic care.
Finally, nursing associates will be expected to have a knowledge of common conditions including anxiety, depression, diabetes, dementia, asthma, cardiac disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cancer, skin problems, immune deficiencies, psychosis, stroke and arthritis.
The NMC has reiterated that these are draft plans and remain subject to change – a new version for consultation is expected in April 2018