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HCAs and APs

HCAs, APs and TNAs

Health care assistants, assistant practitioners and trainee nursing associates are hugely valued members of the nursing workforce.

Health care assistants (HCAs), assistant practitioners (APs) and trainee nursing associates (TNAs) are hugely valued members of the RCN and the nursing team.

Although there are a wide range of titles used to describe these roles, we have chosen to encompass all of these under the titles HCA, AP and TNA.

The RCN is the ‘go to’ organisation for all members of the nursing team. We understand your needs better than anyone else, whether you aspire to develop your career or remain in your support role and be the best you can be in that role. We’re here every step of the way.

HCA Knovio

What can the RCN do for you?

Lorraine Hicking-Woodison, the RCN's Professional lead for HCAs, APS and TNAs highlights what the RCN can do for you. View the video.

Learning and development

The RCN's learning and development offer for HCAs, APs and TNAs.

Learning resources

First Steps


Confidence to learn

  • Open learn - free learning from the Open University


Mental health care

Supporting self and others

Clinical skills

Digital skills

Professional values

Further resources

RCN Health + Care logo

RCN Health+Care

RCN Health+Care magazine is now available online. Visit our new digital platform to read the latest features.

RCN pledges support for #iwill campaign

The campaign promotes social action among 10-20 year olds.

Trainee Nursing Associates

Find out more about Trainee Nursing Associates (TNAs)

Learning resources first steps

First steps

First Steps covers the key factors that will get you started in your health care career as a Health Care Assistant. It will support you to learn in your own time or as part of your workplace induction programme.

HCAs, APs and TNAs: Subject guide

Health Practitioner membership

Fundamental skills

As part of lifelong learning and increasing confidence in your role you might want to develop your English and Maths. These free resources will help you to prepare for any future qualifications.

If you prefer free face to face learning you can contact: learndirect, or the Workers' Educational Association for more information.

Introduction to Leadership programme

The RCN Introduction to Leadership Programme develops leadership skills using a unique combination of facilitated training days and individual coaching sessions.

See: Introduction to Leadership Programme



RCN membership

If you provide health or social care under the guidance and supervision of a registered nurse, midwife or health visitor and are not on a professional register you could be eligible to join the RCN.

Join the RCN