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NMC publishes draft list of required nurse associate skills

A list of proposed skills for nursing associates has been published by the Nursing and Midwifery Council ahead of a formal consultation.

A list of proposed skills for nursing associates has been published by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) ahead of a formal consultation.

  • Formal consultation on NMC's list will be in April
  • Around 2,000 students are halfway through two-year training programmes in England
  • 30 skills and 60 procedures are featured in the draft list
Nurse associate
Picture: iStock

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has released the list – called a 'skills annexe' – to show people how it is developing ahead of a formal public consultation in April.

End of life care, communication skills to support people in managing their conditions and effective monitoring of a patient are some of the listed skills.

Currently around 2,000 students are halfway through the two-year training programme at sites across England, which so far is the only country where the role will be adopted.

Bridge between registered nurse and healthcare assistant

The government intends nursing associates to be a bridge between a registered nurse and a healthcare assistant and has asked the NMC to act as official regulator.

There are around 30 skills in the annex which are listed under the heading ‘communication and relationship management’.

Together they seek to ensure associates can work effectively with patients, family members and colleagues as part of a multidisciplinary team.

They will also be expected to demonstrate a variety of effective communication strategies, such as reassurance and affirmation, when making therapeutic interventions.

What nursing associates will be required to do

Alongside the skills are around 60 procedures which must be carried out ‘safely, effectively, with sensitivity and compassion’ across a range of practice settings treating people of all ages.

Nursing associates will be required to demonstrate they can:

  • Meet patients nutrition and hydration needs, and maintain their skin integrity.
  • Manage the administration of oxygen using 'a range of routes and approaches’.
  • Calculate and administer drugs for a range of medications.

Although not included on the list, the NMC has revealed it has received requests for other procedures including insertion and removal of oral/nasal gastric tubes and insertion/removal of catheters. It may consult on adding these in April.

The NMC published an early version of the draft competency standards in October 2017 to allow universities that have already started training associates to adjust their courses.

Although it accepted the government's request, it will not be officially confirmed as regulator of nursing associates until later this year.

The first cohort is due to graduate in January 2019.

WORKING DRAFT Nursing associate skills annexe Part of the draft standards of proficiency for nursing associates


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