The Nursing Associate is a new generic nursing role in England that bridges the gap between Healthcare Support Workers and Registered Nurses, to deliver hands-on, person-centred care as part of the nursing team. They are members of the nursing team, who have gained a Nursing Associate Foundation Degree awarded by a Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) approved provider, typically involving two years of higher-level study.
The role has been introduced to help build the capacity of the nursing workforce and the delivery of high-quality care while supporting nurses and wider multidisciplinary teams to focus on more complex clinical duties. The programme will prepare Trainee Nursing Associates to work with people of all ages and in a variety of settings in health and social care. The role also provides a progression route into graduate-level nursing.
The Nursing Associate is a protected title in law and the role is regulated in England by the NMC, which means that you can only be employed into the role if you are qualified and registered as a nursing associate. More information about how the role will be regulated is available on the NMC website.
“I qualified as one of the first registered nursing associates in December 2018. Since then, I have been working in the emergency department of a busy city hospital, a job that is often fast paced and, at times, hectic! Each day is different – one shift I might be working in majors, another day, minors or in the resuscitation department (where our most unwell patients are treated). I can work independently or under direct/indirect supervision, depending on the severity of the situation. The first year has seen me develop many new skills, including medicine administration, catheterisation, taking bloods and wound management. I am also one of the departments lead links for sepsis management, and recently have had my own trainee nursing associate to supervise and assess in their practice. Each day is a day full of firsts!”Jed Bates