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Becoming a nursing associate

How to become a nursing associate and find a course in England

A nursing associate is a new member of the nursing team who will provide care and support for patients and service users.

The nursing associate role will be regulated in England only.

We became the legal regulator for nursing associates in July 2018.

Nursing associate programmes

Until 26 July 2019, you can begin training as a nursing associate in England via a:

  • nursing associate programme delivered by a Health Education England (HEE) approved nursing associate pilot site, or
  • nursing associate apprenticeship programme.

After 26 July 2019, you can only begin training on a NMC-approved nursing associate programme.

Where to find training programmes

If you’re interested in becoming a nursing associate and you’re currently employed as a health or care professional, you can ask your employer for advice on the options available to you.

We’ll be updating our list of approved programmes from June 2019 to include nursing associate programmes as we approve them.

Progression to nursing qualifications

The government wants to see nursing associate qualifications help people with the desire and ability to become a registered nurse.

We’ve designed our standards in a way that makes it easy for education providers to develop programmes that will build on nursing associate proficiencies.

These programmes will need to enable students to develop a specialty in a field of nursing.

Applicants from outside England

The nursing associate role is regulated in England only.

As a result, we can only approve nursing associate education programmes in England.

When our new nursing associate part of the register opens on 28 January 2019 it will also open to applicants from outside England.

If you’ve undertaken education and training in other countries (including the other parts of the UK) that you think is relevant to the role of the nursing associate, you will be able to:

  • apply for a pre-registration nursing associate programme in England and seek recognition of your prior learning, or
  • apply to join the register through our process for applicants from the devolved administrations (Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales), the EU or outside the EU.

We’ll share more information for applicants to the nursing associate part of the register from outside England soon.

Related resources

Read the blog by Sue West, our Senior Nursing Education Advisor.