Nursing Associate

Nursing associate is a new role within the nursing team that helps bridge the gap between Healthcare Assistants and Registered Nurses.

Nursing associates work with people of all ages, in a variety of settings in health and social care. The role contributes to the core work of nursing, freeing up registered nurses to focus on more complex clinical care. It is a stand-alone role that also provides a progression route into graduate level nursing.

Training and Qualifications

One of the most popular ways to train as a nursing associate is to complete a two-year-long, full time (37.5hrs/week) Nursing Associate apprenticeship programme combined with a Foundation Degree. This includes a mixture of hands-on experience within the workplace, supported by some learning in the classroom.

Career opportunities and progression

Like with nurses and other healthcare professionals, nursing associates can expand their knowledge and skills with the right training and governance. The intention is for nursing associates to support, not substitute, registered nurses. Examples of training that can be undertaken:

  • Vaccination and immunisation training. Vaccination and immunisation training can be undertaken as a HCA, TNA or NA. Injection technique is included in clinical skills. HCAs/TNAs must always work under a Patient Specific Directive (PSD). NAs must also work under PSDs or national protocol where applicable.
  • Long term conditions. Training can be undertaken for Long Term Conditions (LTC) such as Asthma, COPD and Diabetes to allow the TNA/NA to complete long term condition reviews with varying levels of supervision where needed.
  • Cervical cytology training and vaginal examinations Cervical cytology training can be accessed as an NA once registered with the NMC.
  • Phlebotomy
  • Physical health checks
  • Contraceptive reviews
  • Wound care
  • Vaccination and immunisation

From Nursing Associate to Registered Nurse

Nursing Associates interested in training as registered nurses have two pathways available:

  1. Apply directly to the university and pay the fees.
  2. Agree with the employer to do an apprenticeship top-up training in which the employer pays the salary for a Nursing Associate role while releasing the learner to do the course and accesses the Government Apprenticeship Levy (via levy transfer) to pay the university fees.

If employed in general practice, funding for their salary can also be drawn down via the local Primary Care Network through the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS). Read more about the funding available here.

There are a number of courses available to top-up from Nursing Associate to Registered Nurse including but not limited to:

Following completion of their Nurse Training learners may need to undertake additional training. For example a GPN course that includes content such as a long-term conditions, sexual health, minor illness, and independent / supplementary nurse prescribing.

News and Resources

News Training

Pitstop Diabetes Update Course – Open to ARRS Clinical roles

Open to any ARRS clinical staff including Pharmacists, Paramedics, Physician Associate, Pharmacy Technician, Nurse Associate & Advanced Clinical Practitioners. Please submit the details requested below to obtain a code. This 4-hour programme has been developed to update healthcare professionals who deliver the essential primary care services for people with type 2 diabetes and non-diabetic hyperglycaemia….