Nursing associates: more than 1,000 now registered with NMC

Health Education England hails the ‘significant milestone’ that ‘strengthens patient care’

Health Education England hails the ‘significant milestone’ that ‘strengthens patient care’

Nursing associates have been in practice since January. Picture: John Houlihan

A milestone has been reached as more than 1,000 nursing associates have now joined the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) register.

The England-only role was established to bridge the skills gap between healthcare assistants and registered nurses.

Nursing associates were able to join the NMC register from January this year after completing a two-year training programme. As of 31 May, a total of 1,006 have registered.

The nursing associate role aims to free up time for nurses to spend on more complex clinical duties. Nursing associates also have opportunities for further education and training, and can progress to become a graduate-level nurse.

However, the role has not been without controversy, with critics concerned about nursing associates’ scope of practice.

Recruitment boost

Some 7,000 students have begun training since the role was established in January 2017.

Training body Health Education England (HEE) aims to recruit a further 7,500 nursing associate trainees this year as part of the NHS People Plan, which sets out how the health service in England should recruit, retain and develop staff.

Ian Cumming.
Picture: Terence Phillips

HEE chief executive Ian Cumming said: ‘We are delighted to have reached this significant milestone, with hundreds more nursing associates set to join the register in the coming weeks.

‘This shows the continuing appetite for this exciting new profession, which not only strengthens patient care, but provides a wealth of new opportunities for our much-valued health and care workers.’

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