A nursing associate is a member of the nursing team in England that bridges the gap between healthcare support workers and registered nurses. They deliver hands-on, person-centered care as part of the nursing team to people of all ages and in a variety of settings in health and social care. They are trained and can work across all disciplines such as adult, paediatric, mental health, learning disabilities, acute care, community care, primary care and social care. The role will contribute to the core work of nursing, freeing up registered nurses to focus on more complex clinical care.
The nursing associate role is a stand-alone role but can also provide a progression route into graduate level nursing if desired.
To begin training as a nursing associate you will require as a minimum, GCSEs grade 9 to 4 (A to C) in Maths and English or Functional Skills Level 2 in Maths and English. You will also need to demonstrate:
- an ability to study to level 5 foundation degree level
- the values and behaviors of the NHS Constitution
- a commitment to completing the Nursing Associate Apprenticeship program.
There are two main routes into becoming a nursing associate.
1. The apprenticeship route
- You must be employed as a Band 2 or 3 and will split your time between attending university and working clinically.
- You will not need to pay for the course and you will receive an income.
- However these positions are very competitive as only a small number of positions may be available.
2. The self-funding route
- This entry is via UCAS.
- University and placement time will be in discrete blocks
- You will need to pay for your course.
- This is likely to be the quickest entry to becoming a nursing associate trainee.
Whichever route you decide to take, the qualification, professional registration and expected standards will be the same.