TNA Programme

In December 2015, the UK Government announced plans to create a new role to support the nursing workforce, the Nursing Associate. This role was created in response the Francis Inquiry (2013), the Cavendish Review (2014) and The Shape of Caring Review (2014) which recommended that Health Education England and Local Education and Training Boards develop bridging programmes into pre-registration and other disciplines, providing ‘new routes into nursing’ for over 350,000 clinical support staff working with registered health professionals. These reviews took place in a challenging climate for UK health and social care due to continued funding challenges, service re-design and transformation, and a high and sustained level of vacancies within the workforce.

Nursing Associates work with care assistants and Registered Nurses to deliver hands-on care across the full continuum of assessment, planning, implementing and evaluating care. Nursing Associates bridge the gap between care assistants and Registered Nurses, complementing the care provided by both. The role also offers career progression opportunities for existing NHS staff and contributes to the integration and transformation agenda.

The East Midlands is one of 11 national pilot sites for the role. Our collaborative involves numerous health and social care organisations including representation from acute, community, primary care, care homes, mental health. The University of Derby is the academic education provider and trainees attend University one day per week undertaking a two year Foundation Degree programme. Each Trainee Nursing Associate will be allocated a Registered Nurse as a ‘supervisor’ in practice who will provide clinical mentorship and pastoral support in the clinical environment.

This programme is a fantastic development opportunity through the apprenticeship scheme open to all internal and bank staff working within a clinical role at Band 2,3,4 meeting the academic requirements to apply to the scheme.

Training  involves work-based learning, with trainees attend University one day per week at Derby or Nottingham Trent  and over the 27 month programme will complete 2300 hours of structured learning and 460 hours of placement, in a variety of specialisms, covering from cradle to grave, across all 4 fields of nursing. Work-based learning should be authentic and provide opportunities to develop, learn, work and apply knowledge and skills to practice. This well established programme offers the opportunity to develop your skills from health care assistant to progress onto a graduate Nursing associate to potentially progress to a registered nurse.  

The essential minimum entry requirements to join the Trainee Nursing Associate Apprenticeship Programme are:

  • Senior Management sign off on application for internal applicants 
  • Level 2 or equivalent Maths and English with certificated proof on application (see all you need to know about Maths & English document below...) 
  • Minimum 6 months working within a clinical healthcare environment prior to application 
  • Be able to demonstrate ability to study at level 3 (A level) qualification or equivalent (Desirable) 
  • The National Care Certificate is desirable 
  • A full UK driving License and access to a vehicle for your regular use 
  • Not already on an apprenticeship 


Hear from our staff that have undertaken the scheme

Cora Jay Hawkins