Nursing Associate

Nursing Associate

On a nursing associate apprenticeship course, you’ll help care for people of all ages and from different backgrounds, cultures and beliefs.

This new profession in the health and care industry has emerged to bridge the gap between health and care aides and registered nurses.

The nursing associate is a separate job that provides a route to graduate-level nursing, enabling registered nurses to focus on more complex clinical duties.

You’ll work in the public, private, and non-profit sectors, providing care to people of all ages, backgrounds, races, and religions.

Individuals with mental, physical, cognitive, and behavioural care needs may be visited at home, in the community, in the hospital, or in any healthcare institution where their needs are supported and managed.

You’ll be working in an ever-changing environment, with different methods of care delivery, shifting demographics, innovation, and rapidly growing technology.

As a nursing assistant, you must be emotionally aware and resilient, capable of managing your health and well-being, understanding the boundaries of your job, and knowing when and how to seek help.

What you’ll learn

On a nursing associate apprenticeship course, you’ll learn to:

  • Act in accordance with the Code: Professional standards of practice and behaviour for nurses, midwives, and nursing assistants (NMC, 2018) and fulfil all registration requirements.
  • Ensure that your records are complete, clear, accurate, and up to date.
  • Recognise and report any problems that may jeopardise the safe and effective delivery of care.
  • Accept responsibility for continuous self-reflection and seek and respond to help and criticism to improve professional knowledge and skills.
  • Demonstrate evidence-based practice in all registration skills and processes: Nursing Associate Proficiency Standards (Annexes A and B) (NMC 2018)
  • Act as an advocate for their profession and help build public confidence in health and care services.
  • Using a range of skills and methods, communicate effectively with colleagues and people at various stages of life and with various mental, physical, cognitive, and behavioural health issues.
  • Recognise signs of vulnerability in oneself or colleagues and take precautions to minimise health risks.
  • Establish, manage, and maintain relationships with people, their families, carers, and colleagues.
  • Report any situations, behaviours, or errors that may cause poor care outcomes.
  • Use the objectives and principles of health promotion, protection, improvement, and disease prevention while dealing with people.
  • Encourage people to participate in preventive health behaviours and provide knowledge to assist them in making informed choices to improve their mental, physical, and behavioural health and well-being.
  • Recognise the scientific foundation for immunisation, vaccination, and herd immunity to promote and prevent health.
  • Protect your health by understanding and applying infection prevention and control principles, including communicable illness surveillance, antibiotic stewardship, and resistance.
  • Apply knowledge, communication, and relationship management skills to provide correct information to people, families, and caregivers before, during, and after a range of therapies.
  • Recognise when a person’s capacity has changed and how it affects their ability to make decisions about their care and to give or deny permission.
  • Recognise individuals in danger of abuse, self-harm, and/or suicide thoughts, as well as the circumstances that may place them and others at risk.
  • Assume personal responsibility for providing necessary information in line with local regulations, taking quick action to offer adequate protection, and filing complaints.
  • Collaborate with others to encourage shared decision-making to help persons, their families, and carers control their care.
  • Perform various nursing procedures and manage equipment to meet people’s needs for safe, effective, and person-centred care.
  • Make provisions for people’s needs for safety, dignity, privacy, comfort, and rest.
  • Meet individuals’ dietary, hydration, bladder, and gastrointestinal health needs.
  • Meet people’s needs for mobility, cleanliness, oral care, wound care, and skin integrity.
  • Assist those suffering from typical symptoms, such as anxiety, confusion, discomfort, and pain.
  • Provide information and support to those dying, their families, and the bereaved, as well as care for the deceased.
  • Recognise whether a person’s condition has improved or deteriorated by monitoring health, interpreting, responding promptly, sharing findings, and escalating as needed.
  • Follow any end-of-life preferences and directives, organ and tissue donation protocols, infection procedures, advanced planning decisions, living wills, and durable powers of attorney for health and welfare.
  • Cooperate and collaborate in interdisciplinary teams with specialists from many agencies.
  • Maintain the safety of work and care environments.
  • Report risks in line with local and national organisational structures, rules, and regulations, and implement appropriate actions, following up and escalating as necessary.
  • Respond to and elevate any hazards that endanger people’s safety.
  • Collect data to support audit operations and implement quality improvement strategies.
  • Priorities and manage one’s workload, as well as recognise which parts of care may be appropriately outsourced to colleagues, carers, and family members.
  • Recognise when people need help to offer fair access to treatment and support and escalate problems appropriately.
  • Encourage and motivate other care team members, and participate in confident conversations with them.
  • Support, supervise, and act as a role model for nursing associate students, health care support workers, and those new to care roles, all while evaluating the quality of care provided, promoting reflection, and providing constructive feedback.
  • Participate in team reflection activities to improve practice and service.
  • Access, input, and use information and data using various methods, including digital technology, and distribute it appropriately across diverse teams.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • Two or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths.
  • Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this before taking the end-point assessment.

Assessment methods

The End Point Assessment comprises two distinct assessment methods: 

  • Exams
  • Written Assignments

Restrictions and requirements

You’ll need to:

Duration and level

  • Duration: 24 months
  • Level: 5 – Higher Apprenticeship

Apprenticeship standard

More information about the Level 5 Nursing Associate Apprenticeship standard can be found here.

Apprenticeship end point assessment

For more information about the End Point Assessment Process, please read the Institute of Apprenticeships’ information page.

Updated on December 27, 2022

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