Training and development

As a trainee nurse associate, you will develop an understanding of all elements of the nursing process and caring for individuals with particular conditions such as dementia, mental ill health and learning disabilities/difficulties.

Routes to training

You will undertake both academic and work-based learning and can either earn while you learn as part of an apprenticeship programme, or go through a self-funded route.


On an apprenticeship programme, you’ll be employed in a specific healthcare setting such as an acute, community or mental health hospital, general practice, care home or hospice and gain experience in other health and care settings and situations. This will mean travelling to placements and working a mix of shifts. You’ll need to plan and manage the competing demands of your job role, study and placements.

Direct entry

Some training places are available through direct application to university. If you are accepted on to a course this way you will spend more time in the classroom and will also gain practical experience in a range of healthcare settings. Please note that you will have to fund your own study.

Qualified nursing associates will be required to work to a nationally recognised code of conduct. Once you’ve finished your training, you’ll have the knowledge, understanding, skills, attitudes and behaviours to work as a nursing associate.


The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) is responsible for registering and regulating nursing associates in England and is also the professional regulator of nurses and midwives in the UK. It works to ensure these professionals have the knowledge and skills to deliver consistent, quality care that keeps people safe. Read more about how the NMC regulates nursing associates and view the standards of proficiency.

Career progression

The nursing associate role is employed across health and care services. Qualified nursing associates can also go on to train as a registered nurse by putting their training towards a shortened nursing degree or completing a degree-level nursing apprenticeship. Find out more about training as registered nurse

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) and Health Education England (HEE) have produced this career development resource to help clinical support staff and registered nurses plan their careers effectively. It shows different ways that you can develop your career with case studies, videos and next steps. View the nursing careers resource

Become a nursing associate »