Say hello to the East’s first Nursing Associates!

Published: 23 January 2019 at 15:30

Nursing Associates

Cohort will become first in region to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council

The East of England’s first Nursing Associates – a new role within the NHS to address the growing demands on the UK’s nursing workforce – have celebrated completing their course at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge.

The first cohort of 24 Nursing Associates met at Anglia Ruskin’s Young Street campus for the celebratory event.  From 28 January they will become the first in the region to join the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s new register for Nursing Associates, and will begin their new roles in local NHS Trusts. 

Nursing Associates bridge the gap between healthcare support workers and registered nurses. They are trained generically to provide support to all nursing teams providing flexibility to healthcare organisations, and will be able to administer medicines.

Anglia Ruskin has been involved in educating Nursing Associates since the first pilots commenced in January 2017.  The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Partnership has led this initiative, with students working on placement with various NHS Trusts throughout the area. 

The students, only the second cohort in the UK to complete the programme since it was launched nationwide, were presented with a celebration gift to mark the end of their two-year course.

The celebratory event featured presentations from Principal Lecturer and Course Leader Vanessa Waller, and course representative Jed Bates. Emma Westcott, of the Nursing and Midwifery Council, Annette Thomas-Gregory, Deputy Dean for the Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine and Social Care at Anglia Ruskin, and Sam Donohue, of Health Education England (HEE), also gave speeches.

Dr Annette Thomas-Gregory said:

“In the ever-changing field of healthcare, the role of the nursing associate has been introduced as a response to the needs of our NHS Trusts. They fulfil a vital role in a wide range of clinical areas, supporting healthcare teams to work with all client groups.

“Anglia Ruskin has always responded to the changing needs of the healthcare sector and we are one of the first universities to provide education for this new role.

“This event was held to celebrate the students’ academic achievements, to thank the employers and line managers who have supported their employees, and to further strengthen Anglia Ruskin University’s partnership with these employers.”

The Nursing Associate programme is now a Higher Apprenticeship, with around 75 apprentices starting at Anglia Ruskin in 2018. The university has also launched the course in Essex this month – the first of its kind to be available in the county.