Entry requirements

To begin your training as a Nursing Associate, you’ll need 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 your ability to study to level 5 foundation degree level and commit to completing the Nursing Associate Apprenticeship programme.

If you do not hold these qualifications, you will be expected to undergo a numeracy and literacy assessment as part of the recruitment process. We recommend that you prepare for this assessment and, if you are employed, ask your employer to support you with this. Most education providers will request that you achieve a level 2 literacy and numeracy qualification before you start the programme. Functional Skills Training and examination is free to any learner who does not hold Maths and/or English GCSE at C or above (or equivalent). The following government link will provide you with further information www.gov.uk/improve-english-maths-it-skills You will be required to demonstrate the core values and behaviours of the NHS Constitution.

For information on how to access functional skills courses get your employer to visit BKSB for free (Basic Key Skills Builder).

NHS England has commissioned bksb to give free access to bksb to all NHS trusts, community, primary and adult social care employers. Basic Key Skills Builder (bksb for short) is a market-leading, functional skills software package. Individual staff members can study at their own pace and access the system any time following registration from your employer. For any issues please contact hee@bksb.co.uk;

bksb can: 
  • Help prepare staff for functional skills qualifications in English and maths.
  • Be used for skills analysis by employers to inform workforce planning.

How to apply

Currently, most nursing associate training programmes are being delivered through the apprenticeship route. As well as externally, trainees can be recruited from existing staff, such as Healthcare Support Workers or if you are interested in starting a new career in healthcare as a Trainee Nursing Associate, vacancies are advertised via Trac and NHS Jobs  

Please note that vacancies are also available in primary care and social care. Please check with local employers, such as local authorities, or search on the Department of Work and Pensions’ ‘find a job’ website and other job boards.

Trainee Nurse Apprenticeships can be obtained through an employer, such as a hospital, GP practice, Primary care Networks and in social care settings, current vacancies: Trac and NHS Jobs  

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