The Nursing Associate is a new role within healthcare designed to bridge the gap between Healthcare Assistant and Registered Nurse.
According to Health Education England (HEE) the Nursing Associate role is a new support role which will sit alongside existing healthcare support workers and fully-qualified registered nurses to deliver hands-on care for patients.
What qualifications will I need to become a Nursing Associate? You can apply to become a nursing associate even if you don't have any traditional academic qualifications. The entry requirements will depend on your NHS trust and local university. You should contact them for further clarification.
Are there any other requirements? You'll need to be fluent in English and have an appropriate level of maths. You will also be required to complete an advanced DRB check (previously known as a CRB).
How long does it take to train as a nursing associate? It takes around 2 years full-time to train as a nursing associate - this consists of both clinical and academic work.
What does the nursing associate job entail? The job specification is currently being developed by the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC). You are likely to undertake hand-on personal care for patients, administrations of some medications, documentation and basic clinical assessments.
Will nursing associates be registered? Yes, nursing associates are on-track to be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council. You will be required to pay a yearly membership fee and keep up your professional registration in order to practice. You will be required to uphold a professional code of conduct, not only at work but in your everyday life.
How can I apply to become a nursing associate? Presently, you must be an existing employee of an NHS trust to apply to become a trainee nursing associate. New roles will be advertised internally or via NHS jobs.
Are nursing associates similar to associate practitioners? The role itself may be similar but currently associate practitioners are unregistered. The nursing associate role is designed to be nationally recognised and standardised.
Can nursing associates become registered nurses? The Department of Health and NHS England are currently working on a framework for nursing associates to become registered nurses. It will include academic further study and the further development of clinical skills and knowledge.