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Become a nursing associate

Advice on beginning your nursing associate career

The new nursing associate (NA) role was introduced in England to bridge the gap between health care assistants and registered nurses.

A pilot programme consisting of around 2,000 trainee nursing associates (TNAs) was launched in early 2017. Up to 5,000 TNAs were trained in 2018 and 7,500 will begin their training this year.

At the end of January, qualified nursing associates joined the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) register and were eligible to join the workforce in England.

Many newly qualified nursing associates will be working in the NHS, with a small number working in social care, hospices and GP practices. 

Increasing numbers of nursing associates will enter the workforce in England throughout 2019 and beyond.

The Royal College of Nursing has welcomed the role, designed to bridge the gap between unregulated health care assistants and registered nurses. Guidance and resources aimed at nursing associates and registered nurses, to help support their integration into the workplace and career development, will be available soon.

You will find resources on this page to support the introduction of nursing associates into the workforce in England.

This includes:

  • nursing association job description guidance for employers. This has been developed in partnership with multiple organisations
  • best practice guidance on preceptorship for nursing associates, by Health Education England.

Further resources

Health Education England. Nursing associate. A new support role for nursing. This page includes information on the national curriculum framework, regulation, test sites and further resources.

Health Education England. Preceptorship for Nursing Associates. Best practice guidance.

NHS Employers. Employer guide to nursing associates. This guide has been put together to provide an overview of the new nursing associate role and compiles all information needed for employers to successfully embed the role into their organisation.

NHS Improvement. Safe, sustainable and productive staffing improvement resource for the deployment of nursing associates in secondary careA NHSI resource to help providers of NHS-commissioned services, boards and executive directors to support their secondary care professionals to deploy nursing associates as part of their clinical team.

Nursing and Midwifery Council. Standards for nursing associates. These standards set out the minimum standards required to join the new nursing associate part of the NMC register.

Nursing and Midwifery Council. Nursing associates. This page covers: what is a nursing associate; regulating the nursing associate profession, standards for nursing associates; information for employers and educators and case studies.

Nursing and Midwifery Council. Delegation and accountability supplementary information to the NMC CodeThis page links to NMC supplementary information on delegation and accountability and references Nursing Associates.