New HEE Nursing Associate Programme to Develop a Greater Staff and Skill Mix

With the nationwide shortage of Registered Nurses continuing to cause widespread recruitment difficulties for care services reliant on nurses, the announcement by Health Education England (HEE), that it is seeking to identify partnerships between employers and providers around a new ‘nursing associate’ role, should be of interest to all providers of nursing care. HEE has stated that the aim of this new role is to ‘successfully support Registered Nurses in a variety of settings to care for patients and the communities they serve’ and this can include both health and social care settings.

HEE wants to hear from employers or partnerships interested in becoming test sites for an initial 2-year period to test the ability of education and service providers to deliver a high-quality and innovative programme of education and training for Trainee Nursing Associates. Read on to find out more about the Nursing Associate role and how you could become involved in the test site programme.

HEE sees the new role as a positive development within the nursing and care professions. A greater staff and skill mix within the nursing discipline provides benefits for the employers, participants and service users if used effectively, particularly:

  • A more highly-skilled role available in the right numbers with the knowledge and skills to improve standards of care and the service user experience, whilst allowing Registered Nurses to apply their professional skills and expertise to innovate, problem solve, lead and coordinate care in different settings.
  • Enabling Registered Nurses to be freed up from more routine tasks to concentrate on professional patient care, with time for high-quality preparation, planning and assessment, raising their status and enriching the patient experience.
  • Releasing Registered Nurses to contribute their expertise in the coordination, planning and delivery of care.
  • Contribute to the development of the nursing workforce through a greater clarification of roles and responsibilities and opening up of new entry routes into nursing education.

3 Steps to Get Involved in the Health Education England Nursing Associate Programme

  1. Online resources. Read more about the proposal on the HEE website, where a detailed outline of the scheme is provided, including guidance on how to apply.
  2. Read the FAQs. Also included on this page is a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions, including further information about the role, how the project is funded and the type of training and education that will be included.
  3. Register for a webinar. Registration is now open for the webinars that HEE will be holding on the 13th and 25th July, to provide information on the recruitment process for test site partnerships.

Keep on top of your care workforce’s training and skills needs by reading Care Quality Matters each month. We provide invaluable guidance in a step-by-step format you can implement right away.

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