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Nursing associate

A new support role in patient care

Nursing associates

The Nursing Associate role is a new support role that sits alongside existing healthcare support workers and fully-qualified registered nurses to deliver hands-on care for patients.


An evaluation of the introduction of nursing associates

The introduction of Nursing Associates across England aims to create a significant shift within the nursing and care workforce. In early 2017, HEE commissioned an independent evaluation of the two-year Nursing Associate test site programme of Nursing Associates which began in January 2017. 

Read the full evaluation.  


Apply to become a new partnerships

We are inviting health and care employers across the Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) footprints and education providers to apply to become a new partnership and be part of an innovative programme across England to test and establish a new nursing support role - the nursing associate. The selected test site partnerships will deliver the education and training for the trainee nursing associate role.

This important initiative is a key component of the government and HEE’s commitment to build capacity to care and capability to treat within the health and care workforce for today, and to meet future needs.

The Nursing Associate Test Site Partnerships Application Form Guidance Third Wave and Nursing Associate Expansion Data Capture Guidance can both be found in the related documents at the foot of this page.

Complete the  Wave 4: Nursing Associate Expansion Form or for more information contact: na.data@hee.nhs.uk

If you are an existing test site partnership delivering the Nursing Associate programme and are interested in taking on a further cohort of trainee nursing associates please also complete the data capture form.

A list of partnership sites is available to download from this page.


Case study

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 and is available to download from this page.

The Nursing Associate role will be regulated by the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Eleven sites were chosen to deliver the first wave of training and run over a two-year period. The sites bring together a wide range of organisations including educational institutions, care homes, acute, community and mental health trusts and hospices, representing the variety of places where Nursing Associates will provide care for patients.

A further 24 test sites were chosen to carry out training for the second wave of Nursing Associates who will begin a two-year programme for a cohort of 1,000 trainees from April 2017.