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Nursing associates

Nursing associates are trained to work with people of all ages, and in a variety of settings in health and social care, supporting registered nurses and enabling them to focus on more complex clinical duties. Nursing associates could make a valuable contribution to mental health services in a variety of settings. As well as bridging skills gaps, they could help improve the care experience by patients and their carers.

Nursing associates are regulated by the Nursing and Midwifery Council, with the first cohort joining the register in January 2019. While it is a standalone role, it also provides a progression route into graduate-level nursing.

In March 2019, The New Roles Task and Finish Group made a series of recommendations to help get more nursing associates working in mental health. It was agreed we need to:

  • raise the profile and wider understanding of the role
  • share and showcase innovative practice
  • spread approaches that have supported trainee nursing associates to work in mental health (for example, working with lived experience connectors who have experience of mental health challenges to help trainee’s insight and understanding).
  • support a wide and inclusive approach to recruiting nursing associates into mental health settings to uphold equality, diversity and inclusion.

Report from the New Roles Task and Finish Group

HEE blog on trainee nursing associates role in mental health

Trainee nursing associate report 2017 

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