In December 2015 the Government announced a plan to create a new nursing support role called a Nursing Associate.
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. The role is designed to bridge the gap between health care assistants (HCAs) and registered nurses.
The first set of Nursing Associates are expected to qualify in 2018.
What can Nursing Associates do?
They will be able to deliver care in a wide range of settings; primary, secondary, community and social care. Their training will provide them with both clinical knowledge and skills. Nursing associates, who are trained to do so, will be able to administer medicines without supervision.
Whats the difference between a Nurse and a Nursing Associate?
According to the NMC the intention is for nursing associates, who will have foundation degrees, to contribute to the delivery of patient care. The registered nurse will still have responsibility as the primary assessor, planner and evaluator of care. Nursing associates will support, not replace, registered nurses.
How will Nursing Associates be regulated?
Nursing Associates will be regulated by the Nursing and Midwifery Council under a new part of the register.