I am very proud and grateful to have qualified as a nursing associate after many years in the NHS, where I gained experience and skills in lots of different areas.
The nursing associate role came about after many consultations. For me, the best part of this was that the public and service users were consulted and were a part of the pilot group interview process I was on.
For some junior staff this role is a long awaited opportunity. My team and senior managers are very supportive and I feel valued. I’m delighted to be in a role that’s about teamwork, leadership and innovation. Health Education England have further invested recently to promote leadership for nursing associates – a vision that’s inspiring.
Nursing associates need a voice
The NMC needs to look at us as individuals. Many nursing associates have a wealth of existing knowledge and experience from working alongside senior clinicians prior to doing the nursing associate degree. Yet I still feel like a very junior member of staff. The bridge between existing roles and the nursing associates needs to be strengthened so that the previous knowledge and experience of nursing associates is used to the benefit of service users.
I want the NMC to understand what we do thoroughly and look at us as a compliment to the nursing profession in our own right. Then public confidence will rise in our profession. I got the most encouragement to do the nursing associate degree from our patients and I got the most congratulations too from them once they knew I had qualified. Nursing Associates need a voice too.
It’s about kindness and compassion
To help the public, for them to have confidence in health and social care, and to protect and support professionals like me, the NMC should regulate with understanding, kindness and compassion. They need to honour everyone on the register – we all pay the same fee. Nursing associates should feel they can raise concerns and have a chat with the NMC about any professional issue; this requires communication and fairness.
Let’s work together
We need to work together more so standards are raised for people using services. Also so staff with the right skills and the right attitude to their work are hired. People need to have confidence that we are all working together and constantly making improvements that are based on evidence.