What is a Nursing Associate?
A Nursing Associate (NA) is a new stand-alone role developed to support the existing nursing team and help bridge the skills gap between Healthcare Support Workers (HCSW) and Registered Nurses (RGN) to improve patient care.
As of July 2019, Nursing Associates are regulated by the Nursing Midwifery Council (NMC) and on completion of the course are entered onto the NMC register as a Nursing Associate.
The NMC have released a ‘Standards of Proficiency for Nursing Associates’ which states that they are individually accountable for their own professional conduct, practice and they are expected to uphold the NMC code and will renew their registration via the usual revalidation process.
The Nursing Associate role concept was established following The Shape of Caring Review published by Health Education England (HEE) in March 2015. The function of the role was to support RGNs to allow them to focus on more complex clinical duties which Registered Nurses are increasingly required to undertake and is not designed to act as a substitute to Registered Nurses.