Nursing associates begin training at University of Derby

Students at the University of Derby have embarked on their studies to become Nursing Associates.

More than a hundred students began their training as nursing associates at the University of Derby this week – believed to be the biggest intake in the country.

Nurse associate training
Student Mohammed Javid, training at the University of Derby

The nursing associate role, which will require two years of training and involve hands-on care delivery, is intended to sit between those of healthcare assistants and registered nurses.

Union Unison has previously warned the role should not be 'nursing on the cheap'.

Chosen ones

The University of Derby was one of 11 sites chosen to train the first 1,000 cohort of nursing associates, with 110 students embarking on their training at the university.

Amy Buttery, who works as a care support worker at Ash Green Specialist Learning Disability Service in Chesterfield, is one of the new students at Derby.

‘This new role couldn’t have come at a better time for me,' she said. 'I’m an ambitious person so this is a chance for me to put into practice what I already know and gain even more skills. It means I can work, learn and earn all at the same time.’

The university is working with Chesterfield Royal Hospital, Derbyshire Community Health Services, Derbyshire Healthcare and Derby Teaching Hospitals, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Trust, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Primary and Social Care, to deliver the new programme, which is overseen by Health Education England (HEE).

Regulatory roles

A second wave of 1,000 nursing associates will be training across the country later this year. Last week, the Nursing and Midwifery Council agreed to regulate the new role following calls from health secretary Jeremy Hunt.

HEE senior nurse manage of policy Ruth Auton said: 'This is a historic point in nursing. The nursing associate is a new role that is going to impact positively on patient experience, as well as give people the opportunity to study and train to progress their own careers.’

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