Nursing Associates Frequently Asked Questions Faqs For

Nursing associates frequently asked questions faqs for

File Name: Nursing associates Frequently asked questions (FAQs) for employers.pdf

File Size: 665.68 KB

File Type: Application/pdf

Last Modified: 3 years

Status: Available

Last checked: 4 days ago!

This Document Has Been Certified by a Professional

100% customizable

Language: English

We recommend downloading this file onto your computer


Nursing associates: Frequently asked
questions (FAQs) for employers
January 2020
Nursing associates
What is a nursing associate?
The nursing associate is a bridging role between health and care assistants and graduate registered

Nursing associates are new members of the care team, who are trained to foundation degree level

They work with people of all ages and in a variety of settings in health and social care

Why has the role been introduced?
The role was introduced in response to the Shape of Caring Review (HEE, 2015), to help build the
capacity of the nursing workforce and the delivery of high-quality care. It will be a vital part of the
wider health and care team and aims to:
• support the career progression of health and care assistants
• enable nurses to focus on more complex clinical work
• increase the supply of nurses by providing a progression route into graduate-level nursing

Why should I employ a (trainee) nursing associate?
Employers that have invested in the nursing associate role as part of wider workforce planning and
skill mix transformation, have appreciated numerous benefits, including:
1. improved service delivery and patient care
2. improved staff retention through career progression
3. the ability to ‘grow your own’ nursing workforce
4. investing in a tried and tested training programme, accredited by the Nursing and
Midwifery Council (NMC)

To find out more, please view:
• Why employ a nursing associate (pdf)
• Why employ a nursing associate? (PowerPoint)
What do nursing associates do?
The NMC has developed and published standards of proficiency for nursing associates. These
standards provide a clear picture of what nursing associates know and can do when they join the

The HEE Nursing Associate Implementation Group developed guidance to support employers in
developing job descriptions for qualified nursing associates. This guidance provides prompt questions
to help employers consider responsibilities and expectations of the post specific to the organisation
and deployment setting. The guidance also includes a template person specification for the role,
which aligns to the NMC standards of proficiency for nursing associates

Frequently asked questions for employers
Are nursing associates registered?
Yes, the NMC is the regulator for the nursing associate
role in England and began accepting individuals onto the
nursing associate part of the register from January 2019

The title ‘nursing associate’ is protected in law in England

Only those qualified and registered as nursing associates
can use this title

This means that nursing associates are individually
accountable for their own professional conduct and
practice. They will need to meet the NMC standards of
proficiency to register and continue to meet the standards
and the code of practice as a condition of their registration

How could I deploy qualified nursing
Nursing associates can be deployed across a range of
health and social care settings. They play an active role
as members of interdisciplinary teams, collaborating and
communicating effectively with nurses, a range of other
health and care professionals and lay carers

To use the workforce efficiently and effectively it is important to identify the skills needed to deliver
the care required and deploy the right staff to deliver that care

Effective workforce planning can help employers:
• strengthen their organisation’s understanding of current and future demand for services
• understand how the nursing associate role can support with meeting this demand
• define how the role will fit within the multidisciplinary team
• support a business case to present to the board

Find out more about workforce planning and deployment of nursing associates

Can nursing associates administer medicines?
As part of their training nursing associates will be educated to understand medicine management
and, within the confines of local employer policies, administer prescribed medicines safely and

Alongside the forthcoming Nursing and Midwifery Council’s (NMC) regulatory standards for the role,
HEE has published guidance to provide clarity to all NHS organisations about how nursing associates
can be deployed to administer medicines safely and effectively

Read Advisory Guidance - Administration of Medicines by Nursing Associates (pdf)
Nursing associates
Can nursing associates undertake screening for cervical cancer?
Registered nursing associates working in primary care are eligible to train to undertake the role of
cervical sample taker as per national guidance

View the full Public Health England (PHE) briefing

What’s the difference between a registered nurse and a nursing associate?
The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has summarised its standards of proficiency for both the
registered nurse and nursing associate role as shown in the table below

Nursing associate Registered nurse
6 platforms 7 platforms
Be an accountable professional Be an accountable professional
Promoting health and preventing ill health Promoting health and preventing ill health
Provide and monitor care Provide and evaluate care
Working in teams Leading and managing nursing care and
working in teams
Improving safety and quality of care Improving safety and quality of care
Contributing to integrated care Coordinating care
Assessing needs and planning care
How can I persuade my board?
You may need to present a business case to your board to secure the required investment to develop
this role in your organisation. Visit the NHS Employers website for a list of prompts and an example
business case

How do people qualify as a nursing associate?
The nursing associate role is regulated by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). To become
a registered nursing associate, individuals must pass a foundation degree awarded by an NMC-
approved provider, typically taken over two years. The programme prepares trainees to work with
people of all ages and in a variety of settings in health and social care. Trainee nursing associates can
either earn while they learn as part of an apprenticeship programme or follow a self-funded route

Find out more about training a nursing associate

Frequently asked questions for employers
What does the course entail?
The foundation degree training programme is usually taken over two years. During this time,
the trainees must complete at least 2,300 programme hours, which are divided equally between
academic and work-based learning

To meet the requirements of the training programme, trainee nursing associates must work in a
range of settings and situations to gain as much experience as possible across the four fields of
nursing: children, adults, mental health and learning disabilities. This is achieved by the trainees
completing placements outside their primary place of employment

The full requirements for training and education are set out and regulated by the NMC in its
standards for pre-registration nursing associate programmes

Currently, most nursing associate training foundation degree programmes are being delivered
through the apprenticeship route. However, a growing number of universities are now offering direct
entry programmes, for which trainees fund their own study

What are the entry requirements?
As a minimum, trainee nursing associates will need GCSEs grade 9 to 4 (A to C) in Maths and
English, or Functional Skills Level 2 in Maths and English. They will also need to demonstrate:
• their ability to study to level 5 foundation degree level
• the values and behaviours of the NHS Constitution
• a commitment to completing the programme

Note that universities may have additional requirements. Aspiring trainees without the relevant
Maths and English requirements will be asked to sit a numeracy and literacy assessment as part of
the recruitment process. Most education providers will request that trainees then achieve a level 2
literacy and numeracy qualification prior to starting 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). If you have employees who need further support with
functional skills, you can direct them to your local further education college

Applicants from non-English speaking countries will also need to have successfully completed a
recognised English language test

For more, please view the Functional skills toolkit produced by HEE London

Please direct any potential trainee nursing associates to the nursing associate site for more
information on the role

What progression opportunities are available to nursing associates?
Like registered nurses and other healthcare professionals, nursing associates may expand their scope
of practice through further education and experience after they have qualified and joined the nursing
associate part of the NMC register

Nursing associates can also go on to become registered nurses by completing a shortened nursing
degree or nursing degree apprenticeship

Nursing associates
How do I set up an apprenticeship programme?
You will need to:
• adhere to the nursing associate apprenticeship standard, which reflects the agreed NMC
standards for nursing associates. You can download the nursing associate standard and end-point
assessment on the HASO website
• identify apprenticeship levy funding for the programme
• procure a training provider – see the HEE Apprenticeship Procurement Toolkit
• secure placements for your trainees
• recruit to the programme

What is the direct entry route?
A growing number of universities are offering direct entry programmes, for which trainees will need
to fund their own study. You can find a list of all approved programmes on the NMC website or visit
UCAS to search for self-funded courses open to application

How can I fund my trainee nursing associate programme?
Employers can use the apprenticeship levy to fund a nursing associate apprenticeship programme

The levy is paid by all employers who have an annual pay bill of £3 million or more. The rate is set at
0.5 per cent of the total pay bill and is paid to HMRC through the PAYE process. Those with a pay bill
of less than £3 million don’t pay the levy and use different arrangements to pay for apprenticeship
training. Read Nursing associates and the apprenticeship levy: A quick guide

Find out more about the apprenticeship levy is, and how to use it within the NHS on the NHS
Employers website

How do I procure a higher education provider for the apprenticeship
With the introduction of the apprenticeship levy in 2017 and the potential financial value of
contracts for training provision, a formal procurement process is advisable to ensure compliance with
NHS Procurement Rules

HEE has produced a toolkit to provide guidance for healthcare employers, with support to navigate
the procurement process and an overview of the various options available nationally

Read the HEE Apprenticeship Procurement Toolkit

How do I recruit (trainee) nursing associates?
The nursing associate role provides a natural progression route for health and care assistants

Therefore, many employers developing an apprenticeship programme recruit both internally and
externally through platforms such as NHS Jobs

To help you explain and promote the role to potential recruits, please direct them to the nursing
associate website

Frequently asked questions for employers
How do I support newly qualified nursing associates?
Newly qualified nursing associates may need time to adjust to the increased responsibility and
accountability associated with being registered. You can support them to do this by:
• promoting the role throughout your organisation
• creating a formal job description and scope of practice
• supported medicines administration procedures
• offering preceptorship programmes

What is a preceptorship and why should I offer one to newly qualified nursing
A preceptorship is a period of support and guidance for new registrants. The wave 2 evaluation
of the HEE nursing associate programme found that preceptorship programmes can have several
benefits for recently qualified nursing associates, including:
• an adjustment period to help them cope with increased responsibility and accountability
• opportunities to build further awareness of the role
• additional supernumerary time, including extra support and training to ensure they are meeting
professional standards
• extra time to ensure they have good working knowledge of their roles and can reflect on how they
can best integrate within their team or setting
• an additional opportunity to develop peer support networks

For more read:
• Best practice guidance on preceptorship for nursing associates, HEE, 2018
• Introduction of nursing associates – year 2 evaluation report, Traverse, October 2019

How do I engage other staff in the role?
For more on how to engage nurses and other health and care professionals in the new role, please
visit NHS Employers: How do you involve staff in understanding the need for and placement of
trainee nursing associates?
Do nursing associates need to revalidate?
Yes. Nursing associates will need to renew their registration every three years through the same
revalidation process as that applied to nurses and midwives. Employers can support nursing
associates to meet the revalidation requirements

Where can I find out more?
Please visit:
• The HEE website for information on nursing associates for employers
• The Nursing associate website for information for potential trainee nursing associates
• The NHS Employers guide to nursing associates
• Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) resources
• Information on nursing associates in social care on the Skills for Care website
If you have a question we haven’t answered here, please email the national nursing team at
[email protected]

Nursing: children, adults, mental health and learning disabilities. This is achieved by the trainees completing placements outside their primary place of employment. The full requirements for training and education are set out and regulated by the NMC in its standards for pre-registration nursing associate programmes.

Download Now

Documemt Updated

Popular Download

Frequently Asked Questions

How many more nurses will there be after the associate programme?

It is estimated that up to around half of each year’s cohort of nursing associates will go on to further training to become a registered nurse after they have completed the initial two-year associate programme. This is expected to result in around 4,600 extra nurses by 2022, according to government estimations.

How do i know if a nursing program is acen accredited?

The ACEN requires accredited programs to indicate accreditation status clearly to the public when it is an ACEN accredited program and when it is an ACEN candidate program. The accreditation status is usually noted in publications such as the college catalog, website, and nursing brochures.

Do pre licensure nursing programs need to be accredited?

Currently, specialized accreditation for pre-licensure nursing programs is voluntary in some states; however, many states mandate that a nursing program be accredited.

Why might a nursing student not qualify for employment?

The student may not qualify for employment if the employer requires nurses to have graduated from an accredited program. For example, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and many other public and private employers require nurses to have graduated from an accredited program.