The nursing associate is a new health care role in England. The role is designed to work alongside and bridge the gap between health care assistants (HCAs) and registered nurses, to deliver hands-on care. 

In July 2018 the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) approved the Governments request to regulate the role. The first Nursing Associates to be regulated was in February 2019.

What does a Nursing Associate do?

  • Undertake clinical tasks including cannulation, venepuncture and ECGs 
  • Support individuals and their families and carers when faced with unwelcome news and life-changing diagnoses 
  • Perform and record clinical observations such as blood pressure, temperature, respirations and pulse 
  • Discuss and share information with registered nurses on a patients’ condition, behaviour, activity and responses  
  • Ensure the privacy, dignity and safety of individuals is maintained at all times 
  • Recognise issues relating to safeguarding vulnerable children and adults  

Entry Requirements 

  • GCSEs grade 9 to 4 (A to C) in maths and English, OR Functional Skills Level 2 in Maths and English. 
  • You will also need to demonstrate your ability to study to level 5 foundation degree level and commit to completing the Nursing Associate Apprenticeship programme.

TNA (Trainee Nursing Associate) Apprenticeship

The TNA Apprenticeship programme is for Nursing Assistants/Health Care Support Workers/Care Support Workers/Clinical Support Workers who are looking for new challenges and to further develop their career within a health or social care environment. Currently, the Universities linked to the Norfolk and Waveney TNA Partnership are the University of East Anglia and The Open University. 

On successful completion of the programme, apprentices will achieve a Foundation Degree Level 5 Qualification as well as the Nursing Associate Apprenticeship Qualification. Please note that applications for the February 2020 cohort are now closed and recruitment for the September 2020 intake will shortly commence. 

TNA Apprenticeship Updates

In December 2019, the NMC approved the first three General Practice organisations as suitable employers for hosting TNAs on the TNA Apprenticeship programme starting February 2020. This is a great achievement for Primary Care and puts us in a promising position for the next TNA cohort commencing September 2020. 

TNA Access Programme 

A TNA Access Programme has been developed following discussions with HEE (Health Education England), UEA admissions and outreach colleagues. This programme, scheduled to be delivered as a two-week easter boot camp in Easter 2020, is designed to develop a pipeline of aspiring TNAs. This programme is not compulsory for aspiring TNAs, but has been created as an offer to help them better prepare for the TNA programme, and succeed in their development as a TNA. 

For further information on the TNA Access Programme, and/or to submit an EOI (expression of interest) in in attending, please complete the EOI section on page 6 here, and submit to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


                            TNA Apprenticeship Application Process

 TNA process

 Useful documents/links