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Nursing associate national curriculum framework

HEE has today (November 17, 2016) published the nursing associate curriculum framework.

This comprehensive national curriculum framework is relevant to all those involved in planning, designing and delivering Level 5 Nursing Associate education and training programmes.

The framework sets out considerations which are critical to defining the role and its parameters of practice in order for its effective adoption and deployment by the healthcare system.


Professor Lisa Bayliss Pratt, Director of Nursing and Deputy Director of Education and Quality, Health Education England, said:

"I am particularly pleased that it has been possible to bring together so many people and organisations to support this initiative because the role will be such a key part of the multi-disciplinary workforce that is needed to respond to the future needs of patients.

"We know it is absolutely vital that our future workforce is flexible enough to adapt to developments in healthcare and to ensure that the patients of tomorrow receive the safe, high quality care they deserve.

"We are responding to need from the system to increase the flexibility of the available workforce to better meet the needs of patients. The service has asked us to move as quickly as possible to provide this new role that sits alongside care assistants and registered nurses as part of a multi-disciplinary care team.

"The new role also meets the requirement, and the expectation, placed upon us to ensure we provide careers that are attractive and accessible.

"This framework will ensure that trainees will be ready and able to find their place supporting nurses and other professionals as a valuable member  of teams built around the needs of patients.

"Most importantly, of course, we will train these new Nursing Associates to understand medicines management and to administer medicines safely in a timely manner, within the confines of local employer policies. This will ensure Nursing Associates play a fundamental part in supporting registered nures to provide our patients with the high quality care they deserve.

"Nursing Associates will be trained to work independently under both the direct and indirect supervision of the registered nurse. This will realise their full potential as  valued members of the nursing team.

"Any independent work will be within defined parameters of practice, within their competence, their training and  the responsibility and authority given by a Registered Nurse in line with nursing practice in delegation and accountability.

"We have only reached this point as a result of  lengthy consultation with senior nurse leaders, front line nurses and support workers and educators and continued dialogue with key stakeholders, which achieved wide consensus. This  work  will continue as safety is of paramount importance to us.

"I have been so grateful to all those organisations and individuals who have helped get us this far. The positive response from across the country has been overwhelming and the support from senior nursing colleagues across the system has been most welcome.

"Today is a very important step and we are now only weeks away from welcoming the first of our students on to their new courses."

Professor Jane Cummings, Chief Nursing Officer for England, said:

“We need to build a workforce to meet the changing needs of the people we care for. The new Nursing Associate will play an important role as part of a team built around those needs.

“The test sites delivering the first training programmes will allow feedback which will inform the competencies needed and the scope of the Nursing Associate role. The views of Directors of Nursing, Registered Nurses in clinical practice and education as well as prospective Nursing Associates will be vital.

“The introduction of Nursing Associates is a positive and welcome step forward and I look forward to following progress made as training begins.”

Viv Bennett, Public Health England’s Chief Nurse, said:

"We welcome the potential of nursing associates to increase the focus on prevention and to support people to manage their own care in hospital and in communities.

“We will work with Health Education England to include prevention, health protection and promotion of wellbeing in nursing associate training.”

Ruth May, Executive Director of Nursing at NHS Improvement, said:

"The Nursing Associate role will be a key part of a contemporary multidisciplinary workforce. In my discussions with provider Directors of Nursing across England there is widespread support for the introduction of this role for health and care.

"I’m delighted with today’s announcement and I will work with the successful organisations during their pilots."

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