A new role has developed in private and public healthcare in the United Kingdom – namely due to changes in government legislation and a public consultation by the department of health education England. A nursing associate is a role designed to optimise delivery and address gaps in knowledge between registered nurses and the hands on role of a healthcare assistant.
This role is pivotal to nurse roles within primary care, allowing the nursing associate to perform more of the hands on roles, leaving more complex clinical decisions and roles to the registered nurses on a ward. Nursing associates will gain relevant experience and clinical knowledge to permit a route into obtaining a RGN or RMN qualification. This implementation of a new role should ease strain on nurse graduates who often are not put to full use due to strains in healthcare delivery, particularly in the NHS.
When training, the nurse associate may be recruited at a hospital, acute ward, mental health ward or private hospital to gain relevant experience in a care setting, close to other senior members of the healthcare team for guidance and shadowing. This qualification, endorsed by the NMC, requires a 2 year placement and a variety of institutions to gain relevant experience and credentials before gaining the title of a nursing associate.
What will my roles be?
· Completing medical tasks like cannulation, bloods and heart scans
· Supporting individuals and family members in difficult news or medical decisions relating to their prognosis
· Accurately record clinical data i.e. blood oxygen, pressure, heart rate etc
· Update your seniors on the patient’s responses, observations
· Maintain relevant NHS clinical practice and constitution
· Be aware of mental health laws and safeguarding in children and adults
What qualities/qualifications do I need to start?
· Some medical/health knowledge is desirable
· Grades A-C in Maths and English
· Compassion, a caring nature and an ambitious outlook
· A team player
Approximately one day a week you will be expected to undertake academic learning at a college or relevant institution to further learn, understand and adhere to NHS guidelines, but also to satisfy theoretical requirements of your course. The remainder of your week will be on placement, gaining relevant experience. Often, nurses and associates find one area of their job more desirable than others, and this can be a great opportunity to specialise.
We are excited to recruit the 1st generation of nursing associates as the NMC register for nursing associates opens in January 2019!