Approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)
Enhance your nursing skills and confidence to meet a wide range of healthcare needs with our Nursing Associate Higher Apprenticeship. Study for a nursing associate foundation degree while you work, with no tuition fees.
Ideal if you’re a current Band 2/3 healthcare assistant/support worker looking to develop your career in Nursing and play a key role in supporting registered nurses in primary, secondary, community and social care. On successful completion of the course, you can opt to join the Registered Nurse Degree Apprenticeship and study for a full honours degree to ultimately become a registered nurse.
Please note this course is currently undergoing NMC revalidation. The course and module information on this page is liable to change.
The Nursing Associate role launched in 2017 for England’s nursing workforce to support Registered Nurses in primary, secondary, community and social care. They work across a range of settings across all fields of Nursing to help to plan, coordinate and deliver care, working to the nationally- recognised Nursing and Midwifery Council’s (NMC) standards of proficiency, with their own professional register.
Our course follows both the NMC’s (2018) Proficiency Standards for Nursing Associates, and the Higher Apprenticeship Standard at Level 5. It supports the widening access to higher education for new and existing bands 1-4 health care workers, to enable the development of knowledge and skills, and careers, through flexible and practical work-based learning. The design of our blended programme prepares Nursing Associates for clinical practice, whilst optimising practice placement experience.
We have designed our course to meet the six platforms and two skills annexes identified within the NMC Standards of proficiency for nursing associates:
The learning outcomes are aligned to the Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours in the Apprenticeship Standard. The course will meet the NMC (2018) requirements of a minimum of 2300 hours of structured learning activities, equally divided between theory and practice learning.
We’re proud to have been shortlisted for the Nurse Education Provider of the Year award in 2023.
If you’re interested in our Nursing Associate Degree Apprenticeship, we recommend you watch this video from the Nursing & Midwifery Council. Although targeted at healthcare patients, it gives a valuable insight into the important role Nursing Associates play in delivering excellent patient care.
An apprenticeship is a job with training, combining practical experience with academic learning.
At least 20% of your contracted working hours will be classed as 'off-the-job'. This time will be dedicated to developing the knowledge and skills needed to meet the requirements of the apprenticeship, and therefore are not part of your usual work duties.
The off-the-job learning will be set out in a block plan that details when you will attend full days of university teaching, the dates you will be assessed or need to submit an assignment, and the weeks you will be putting your new learning into practice in your usual work setting, or in external placements to meet the Nursing and Midwifery Council requirements.
The off-the-job learning for our Nursing Associate Higher Apprenticeship is delivered from our Peterborough, Chelmsford or College of West Anglia (CWA) campuses.
You will be assessed at the end of each module you undertake (on-programme assessments) which will contribute towards the final award of your qualification.
You will also undertake an End Point Assessment (EPA) to complete your apprenticeship.
The EPA for this apprenticeship is integrated into the on-programme assessments. Therefore, on successful completion of your degree, you will also complete the apprenticeship and be ready to apply for registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council.
Our Cambridge, Chelmsford and Peterborough campuses all offer purpose-built nursing skills labs. The labs simulate many aspects of a working hospital ward and allow you to use sophisticated healthcare equipment.
Our partnership with the College of West Anglia also offers The School of Nursing Studies (SoNS) - a brand new, state-of-the-art facility in Kings Lynn.
You'll benefit from working in small groups to practise skills such as bed making, hand-washing, bandaging, communicating with patients, and applying and interpreting basic monitoring.
This course is approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council which demonstrates that the skills, knowledge and attributes you’ll develop are aligned to the NMC professional standards. This means that on successful completion of the apprenticeship you’ll be able to register as Registered Nursing Associate.
"Training through an apprenticeship has been extremely beneficial to me, it has given me the opportunity to gain real hands-on experience. It has given me a real kick start into my career and an amazing opportunity to gain a real insight into the work I will be doing in the future."Lucy
Nursing Associate Degree Apprentice
"I have been given a fantastic opportunity with the apprenticeship and have gained skills and knowledge from the course that will shape me into the Nursing Associate that I will become. It has shown me the value of care and compassion."Danielle
Nursing Associate Degree ApprenticeHear Danielle's story
“The apprenticeship has allowed me to spend more time with my patients and to support them through their journey, whilst expanding my own knowledge and experiences.”Sigita
Registered Nurse Degree Apprentice
“The nursing apprenticeship has given me the flexibility and confidence to work towards my nursing goals.”Sophie
Registered Nurse Degree Apprentice
Successful completion of the Level 5 Nursing Associate course will now permit you to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) on a Band 4 salary with your employer. Find out more about how the NMC regulates Nursing Associates.
In addition, your employer may support you to join the Registered Nurse Degree Apprenticeship for Adult Nursing, Child Nursing or Mental Health Nursing. This allows you to apply up to 180 credits of Accredited Prior Learning (APL) from your Nursing Associate course, enabling you to study additional modules at Level 6 and specialise in adult, child or mental health nursing for a Band 5 role.
In addition to the person specifications that have been set out by your employer, these are the entry requirements for the course.
*If you do not have the appropriate Level 2 Maths and English, you must ensure you complete these prior to the start of the course. For further details about which qualifications meet Level 2 requirements check the gov.uk website.
You must supply these before you can be registered on the course:
Please note:You are required to evidence the Care Certificate to undertake the End Point Assessment (EPA)- completion of the course will enable you to meet this requirement.
Degree apprenticeships are delivered via a blend of face-to-face campus teaching, work-based learning and online teaching supported by our established online learning systems to provide additional support for individual study and engagement. The mix of this blended approach varies between apprenticeships; please get in touch for further details.
To be eligible to apply for one of our apprenticeships, you’ll first need to be in a full-time position with one of our partner employers. Here you can find out about current vacancies.Browse current vacancies
To apply for an apprenticeship, you need to have the support of your employer. If you already have the support of your employer or have any questions before talking to them, please do not hesitate to contact one of our apprenticeship experts who will be happy to help.