Nursing Associates

Recruiting and retaining nurses in nursing homes is a major issue in social care. It is a priority within the New Anglia Health and Social Care Sector Skills Plan.

The Nursing Associate role is a newly developed apprenticeship that is being rolled out across the country. Norfolk and Waveney health and social care organisations are working with Health Education England and submitted a bid for it to be delivered in this area. This has been successful. The first cohort began in September 2018 and a second cohort will start in November. The UEA in partnership with City College Norwich and the Open University are the Higher Education Institute’s (HEI’s) training providers for the Norfolk and Waveney programme.

Nursing Associates provide a nursing pathway for both the health and social care workforce, strengthening opportunities to create a “home-grown” workforce. It is also a role in itself and is registered by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). It is a professional registered qualification. This enables nursing homes to re-profile their workforce and support the development of their staff for the benefit of the service user/resident or patient.

Information about the new role can be found in documents on the left of this page and on the NMC website.

NMC Consultation

The Nursing and Midwifery Council are undertaking a consultation on proposed standards for new role. The consultation document is available to download on the left of this page and more information can be found HERE.

Apprenticeship Standard

Details of the Nursing Associate Apprenticeship Standard can be found HERE.

Get involved in Norfolk & Waveney

Health Education England is leading the development of the Nursing Associate role though the establishment of test site partnerships. There are currently 35 partnerships across England with more partnerships forming this year as well as existing sites expanding to include new employers and placement partners.

Health Education England currently have some inclusion of social care and partners from the independent sector in the test sites but would like to see this expand.

Please speak to Christine Futter from Norfolk and Suffolk Care Support if you are interested in taking part. See below for more information and left for an expression of interest form.

What is a test site?

Each partnership has, as a minimum, a lead education and employer provider and needs to provide trainee Nursing Associates with a breadth of placement experiences across the four nursing fields.

What level of commitment is involved?

Each employer partner within the test sites commits to training a number of Nursing Associates. These may be existing employees or new staff. The trainee will need to be released to attend their academic and placement days. They must provide supervision and mentorship and comply with the governance and reporting arrangements agreed between the test sites and Health Education England. Alternatively, employers may choose to be placement providers in which case they commit to providing supervision and mentorship and to be part of the HEE quality audit processes.

How is the programme delivered?

The Nursing Associate apprenticeship standard has now been approved for delivery. The apprenticeship must be delivered by an NMC approved provider of pre-registration nurse education and sit under the umbrella of the Health Education England quality assurance process for test sites. Once the Nursing and Midwifery Council can approve Nursing Associate programmes then they will oversee the quality assurance.

The apprenticeship programme delivers the HEE Curriculum Framework for Nursing Associates. This programme has 3000 hours learning and practice hours attached and if delivered over a two-year period this means the trainee attends an academic day once a week and completes 675 external placement hours.

How is the programme funded?

Funding for the programme is via the Apprenticeship Levy. The funding band has been agreed at £15,000; drawn down as a digital voucher this will cover the main cost of the academic provision of the programme. £2,500 of this £15,000 can be used to support practice placement preparation and supervision, however Levy payers will need to negotiate and agree with their education provider on how this is used.

The rules for the use of the Levy funding are extremely stringent and the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) will audit service and education providers to ensure that funding rules are not breeched.

Non Levy payers must make a 10% contribution (£1,500) towards the cost.

For 2018 starters Health Education England will pay £3,200 per trainee as a ‘one-off’ payment to support the employer with mentorship, supervision and quality assurance to assist the employer to achieve a state of readiness to embed the new role.


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