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New guidance focuses on how to safely deploy nursing associates

Resource published ahead of new staff joining register at end of January 

Resource published ahead of new staff joining register at end of January


New advice aims to ensure safe staffing and skill mix. Picture: Guzelian

A new resource to help nursing managers safely deploy nursing associates in practice has been released.

The online guidance, produced by the National Quality Board (NQB), has been introduced ahead of the first nursing associate graduates joining the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) register at the end of January.

Factors to consider

The resource outlines principles for safe staffing, covering organisational, managerial and clinical setting factors, alongside governance, leadership and reporting.

Recommendations include:

  • Ensuring the employing organisation is familiar with NMC standards of proficiency and with the competencies of individual nursing associates.
  • Making staffing decisions in the context of the wider senior multiprofessional team.
  • Considering safe staffing requirements, workforce productivity and financial viability as integral factors in the deployment process.

Support for senior nurses

RCN deputy director of nursing Stephanie Aiken said the college was on the working group that drew up the guidance.

‘We discussed and consulted with a representative selection of our membership throughout the development process, including senior nurses who are likely to have to deploy nursing associates in the future.

‘The resource will be a useful guide for employers, but we look forward to the guidance being developed and reviewed as the evidence base emerges around this new role.’

Correct skill mix

England’s chief nurse Ruth May said: ‘As nursing associates are deployed into the NHS workforce this month, we want to ensure that their clinical teams have the resources they need to do this safely and effectively.

‘The NQB’s resource recommends procedures on governance, leadership and reporting, so that all care settings have the tools they need to achieve the correct skill mix.

‘As outlined in the new NHS Long Term Plan, we are committed to making the health service a better place to work. Key to this will be ensuring that all clinical and social care settings have the right staff, in the right place and at the right time.’


Read the deployment guidance


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