Louise Stoney – Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust – Primary Care

How it started, how did you get into being a Trainee Nursing Associate /Nursing Associate?

I had been a Health Care Assistant (HCA) for 10 years, working with the District Nurses.  My colleagues always used to tell me that I was so good at my job, I should be a Nurse.  Not being academic, I never thought this would be possible and then the announcement came out that they were looking for experienced HCA’s to join a pilot group of Trainee Nursing Associates (TNAs) to become a Nursing Associate (NA) and my Manager suggested that I apply, so I did.

What do you do as a Trainee Nursing Associate /Nursing Associate?

I work in a GP Practice and I have completed the GP Nurse course which has given me so much more responsibility and expanded my clinical skills. I undertake cervical cytology, baby immunisations and a number of skills to support the Registered Nurses and my other colleagues.

What are the benefits of having a Trainee Nursing Associate /Nursing Associate to the organisation you work for, the team you work in and for the patient?

Trainee Nursing Associates and Nursing Associates bring massive benefits to any organisation.  By undertaking the 2-year foundation degree increases our knowledge of anatomy and physiology and helps to identify deterioration in our patients’ conditions.  The range of clinical skills we possess can help free up the Registered Nurse for more complex patients and provides the patient with a continuous and high quality care.  The Trainee Nursing Associate or Nursing Associate can also support students and other staff creating excellent teamwork and multi-disciplinary teams.

What are the challenges you face?

Lack of understanding around the role can be a real challenge.  There still seems to be a lot of organisations that do not know about the Trainee Nursing Associate and Nursing Associate role or what they can do.  By promoting the role and talking about it with patients and colleagues, hopefully we can help organisations to understand why the Trainee Nursing Associate /Nursing Associate role can be beneficial.

My advice – what advice would you give to anyone wanting to become a Trainee Nursing Associate /Nursing Associate?

Believe in yourself and have confidence in your abilities.  I never would have dreamed that I could achieve what I have but with the support of my mentor and colleagues, my dream became reality.  I am very proud to be a Nursing Associate and look forward to what the future holds.