Patients and care home residents in Sheffield and Doncaster will soon benefit from a new member of the health and social care workforce which has been successfully delivering care to patients in Rotherham and Barnsley.

Nursing Associates are trained to work under Registered Nurses carrying out some of the more routine tasks, allowing Registered Nurses to spend more time with patients, especially those with more complex needs.

The Nursing Associate and Trainee Nursing Associates role gives those working in the health and social care sector the opportunity to progress to become a Registered Nurse, training on the job without the need to study full-time. It is hoped that this will lead to increasing the number of registered Nurses working in health and social care over the coming years. 

On Tuesday (18 December) 135 were inducted to work as Trainee Nursing Associate, 78 in Sheffield and 57 in Doncaster.

Jodie Stocks, was one of them, she said:

“I’m really excited, it’s a great opportunity. I’ll eventually do my paediatric nurse training and I think it’s a great opportunity to get people to go into nursing.

“It is technically a full-time degree but you are working at the same time so really its more interesting because you get to learn more.”

Kira Rosser has been working as a Trainee Nursing Associate for the Barnsley Healthcare Federation for eighteen months, she says:

“I can do bloods, spirometry checks, COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) reviews, hypertension reviews, wound care, blood sugar checks, there’s quite a lot I can do task wise. After I’ve qualified I’ll be able to do cervical smears and flu vaccinations.

“Ruth, the Practice Nurse, she now has more time to spend with the patients on the things that I can’t do.”

Nursing Associates work across all four fields of nursing: adult, children’s, mental health, and learning disability, helping to tackle some of the well documented workforce issues being experienced across the country’s hospitals and social care organisations.

Linda Crofts Workforce Lead at the South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Integrated Care System, said:

“The creation of the Nursing Associate is a landmark innovation for the nursing and care professions and patients will no doubt see a positive change in the care and service they receive. The introduction of this new role has been welcomed by those working on the front line of health and social care, all of whom welcome the immergence of a defined highly trained support role to help Registered Nurses deliver effective, safe and responsive care, which is what the Nursing Associate is.”

The Nursing Associate will sit alongside existing healthcare support workers and fully-qualified Registered Nurses to deliver hands-on care for patients. It is estimated that up to around half of each year’s cohort of Nursing Associates will go on to further training to become a Registered Nurse after they have completed the initial two-year associate programme. This is expected to result in around 4,600 extra Nurses by 2022, according to government estimations.

Trainee Nursing Associates complete a two-year apprenticeship, level 5 foundation degree and must experience placements in each of the three health and care settings: hospital; at home, this may include care homes; and close-to-home settings, this may also include primary care.

Within Sheffield the Trainee Nursing Associates will work in Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield Health and Social Care, Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, St Luke’s Hospice and a social care organisation, Horizon Care. In Doncaster they will work in Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Primary Care Doncaster, Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust and Cheswold Park Hospital. There will also be various placement providers who will support trainees within the two-year programme.

Hear how two Trainee Nursing Associates are currently providing care to patients in Barnsley, and from another who has just been inducted to work in Sheffield. To view the films, click below: