Nursing Associate

Role Summary

The Nursing Associate (NA) role has been developed to help fill the gap between Healthcare Support Workers and Registered Nurses.

Part of the aim is to release time from Registered Nurses to care for more complex patient needs. 

NAs will work as part of the wider health and care team and will contribute to the core work of nursing, carrying out a range of activities from administering medication, dressing wounds, smear taking and administration of vaccinations to promoting health lifestyle choices and well-being to your patients. 



To become a registered nursing associate, individuals must pass a foundation degree awarded by an NMC-approved provider, typically taken over two years. 

To begin your training as a NA, candidates need GCSE grade 9 to 4 (A-C) in Maths and English or Functional Skills L2 in the same. You will also need to demonstrate your ability to study to level 5 foundation degree level and commit to completing the NA apprenticeship programme. 

Case Study

A practice in Wigan has a team of 2 nurses. One reaching retirement and one within their first year of primary care nursing. The practice has upskilled an existing HCA to Nurse Associate with a view to not replacing on of the nurses when he decides to retire and instead will have a nursing team of lead practice nurse and NA. 

The lead practice nurse focuses on the complex needs of their patients while the NA allows them to do so by focusing on the more basic nursing duties. 

The practice is also exploring utilising the “top up” degree which will take their NA to full Registered Nurse (RGN) status thereby “growing their own” practice nurse workforce.   

Further Information