Posted Monday 7 November 2016
Kingston University and St George's, University of London have been selected to train students to become nursing associates as part of a major new Health Education England initiative. Nursing associates – who will deliver hands-on care for patients and help transform the nursing and care workforce – will work alongside nursing care support workers, who have a care certificate, and fully-qualified registered nurses, bridging the existing gap between the two roles.
The position, announced by the Government at the end of 2015, will offer a new route for healthcare workers eager to progress in their careers to become registered nurses. Successful completion of the training can lead to a Foundation Degree in healthcare and, as a result, a shortened nursing degree.
Focusing on giving patients compassionate as well as hands-on care, nursing associates will also allow registered nurses more time to use their specialist training to focus on clinical duties and take more of a lead in decisions about patient care.
From a total of 48 applications across the country, 11 lead partners were chosen to provide the first wave of training, which will start in January and run over a two-year period. The Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education, run jointly by Kingston University and St George's, University of London, is part of a consortium led by St George's University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which was chosen to deliver the training in London and the South East.
The employment partners in the consortium include Epsom and St Helier University Hospital, Croydon Health Services, Kingston Hospital, South West London and St George's Mental Health Trust and Surrey and Boarders Partnership. Wider placement partners include Central London Community Healthcare, Queens Court Care Home, Eothen Homes and The Royal Star and Garter Homes. Employment and placement partners will provide on-the-job training which will be supported by teaching from the Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education.
Head of the Faculty's School of Nursing Julia Gale said that it was a huge achievement to be chosen, in the face of stiff competition. "There was a lot of interest in providing the training for the nursing associates and I am delighted that our partnership bid was chosen," she said.
"We've got some great partners and have a wide variety of outreach placements on offer for students, such as working with children and adults of all ages, with service users accessing mental health services, with vulnerable groups such as the homeless and refugees and with a wide range of community and specialist services."
Joanne Bosanquet, Public Health England's deputy chief nurse, said the role was key for the future of the nursing profession. "The nursing associate role will help ensure future nurses are prepared for the challenges of modern day healthcare, focusing on prevention and wellbeing. This will be good for individuals, helping and encouraging them to better look after their own health. I wish new trainees all the best."