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What is the difference between the skills of assistant practitioners and nursing associates?

Their titles may confuse, but assistant practitioners and nursing associates can help relieve pressure across primary care

Their titles may confuse, but assistant practitioners and nursing associates have the knowledge and skills to relieve pressure on primary care and community nurses

The assistant practitioner is an established band 4 support role that was introduced to bridge the gap between healthcare assistants (HCAs) and registered nurses.

Assistant practitioners undertake a two-year foundation degree and develop core competencies to equip them to provide this extended support.

When introduced in primary and community care, the role can help to free up community and district nurses to provide advanced care to people with complex needs.

Regional variations

However, the role of assistant practitioner is unregistered and unregulated, and this is leading to regional variations. For example, people working in this role could also have the title of associate practitioner, primary care assistant practitioner, community health assistant practitioner or assistant


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