Friday, 18 December 2015

Nursing associate role offers new route into nursing

Nursing associate role offers new route into nursing Health Minister Ben Gummer announced a plan to create a new nursing support role.

Provisionally called nursing associates, they will work alongside healthcare support workers and fully qualified nurses focusing on patient care.

The role, which could also be a new route for those wishing to become a registered nurse, has been recommended by nursing leaders and other healthcare professionals. The new addition to the care workforce will help bridge the gap between healthcare support workers, who have a care certificate, and registered nurses.

Proposals will see staff trained through this route learning on the job via an apprenticeship leading to a foundation degree. The government will also look at what opportunities there are for staff in this role to progress to become a registered nurse through either a degree level nurse apprenticeship or a shortened nursing degree at university.

The new nursing support role is expected to work alongside healthcare support workers and fully qualified nurses to deliver hands on care, ensuring patients continue to get the compassionate care they deserve. Nursing associates will support nurses to spend more time using their specialist training to focus on clinical duties and take more of a lead in decisions about patient care.

It will be up to individual NHS employers to decide how many nursing associates they need in their organisation. However, subject to the outcome of a consultation, it is anticipated that up to 1,000 nursing associates could be trained from 2016. The government remains committed to training the right number of staff and will maintain nurse training places as the scheme goes forward; 23,000 more nurses should be available by the end of this parliament.

There will be a consultation on all the specifics of the scope of this role, including the title, with representatives from the nursing profession including the royal colleges and representative unions in the new year. Department of Health

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