The Health Select Committee has called for a ‘plain English’ guide around the scope of practice for nursing associates.
MPs were told, as part of an investigation into the nursing workforce by the Commons’ health select committee’s, that some nurses, healthcare professionals and even nursing associates are confused about the role and scope of practice of the new nursing associate role.
The new role, which was created to help ‘bridge the gap’ between Registered Nurses and support staff, has been heavily criticised since its announcement and concerns were raised last year after training nursing associates said there training was ‘inconsistent’.
Inside the report, titled The Nursing Workforce, MPs have called for clarity around the nursing associate role, and the scope of their practice, they said this was essential for patient safety – suggesting a ‘plain English’ guide to the role should be produced.
The committee explained that alongside the professional standards being developed by the NMC, a ‘plain English’ guide on nursing associates should be produced to include examples of tasks that NAs will, and will not, be expected to undertake.
Explaining that “Nursing associates need and deserve a clear professional identity of their own and we recommend that development and communication about this role should be led nationally”.
Adding that there must be a clear understanding that nursing associates are registered professionals in their own right, but they should be supplementing not substituting for nurses.
Earlier this year the Government announced plans to train 45,000 new nursing associates before 2027.