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NMC Council and staff welcome trainee nursing associates to its London HQ

5 February 2018

Trainee nursing associates recently shared their journeys into the new profession with NMC Council Members, helping shape regulation for their fellow trainees and future recruits.

NMC council members and staff welcomed trainee nursing associates Thomas Owens and Richard Sherwood from Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CWP) and Director of Nursing, therapies and patient partnership at the Trust, Avril Devaney MBE to a Council seminar on Tuesday 30 January.

Thomas and Richard told council about their experiences so far of their work-based training at their trust in Chester, which is one of Health Education England’s 35 trainee nursing associate test sites. Both Richard and Thomas began their training in January 2017, and spoke to Council Members about the opportunities they are receiving through supported learning, working alongside registered nurses and how they saw regulation supporting their practise. Avril explained how nursing associates were being used in their Trust and the benefits of the new role being added to the current workforce.

Avril Devaney said:

“I have been a nurse for over 30 years and a Nurse Director for 15 years. I was very aware of the gap in the skills mix, so was delighted when I saw that HEE’s Raising the Bar review was addressing this. We have already seen the benefits of the role being across all the fields of nursing, which has enabled trainees to transfer essential nursing skills across different clinical settings, and how patients are able to benefit from the added person centredness this brings.”

Jackie Smith, Chief Executive and Registrar of the NMC said: 

“As we continue to create the regulatory framework for nursing associates it was important that Council members heard first-hand the experiences of trainee nursing associates. I’m delighted that they are enjoying their training and are already using their skills to support patient care. We will continue to work closely with trainees and their test sites so that they are aware of important regulatory developments.”

The group were asked their views on regulation and how they thought it would benefit nursing associates.

Thomas said: 

“Regulation makes it a professional role, and I am so excited to be accountable and responsible for meeting a set of standards that will make our role unique. I want people to know what we’re capable of and I think regulation gives the profession it’s very own identity.

Richard added: 

“Nurses are under pressure and are always working, often leaving little time to spend directly with patients. There is scope for nursing associates to support, and ultimately free up registered nurses.

Nursing associates outside NMC HQ in Portland Place

From left to right: Avril Devaney, Thomas Owens and Richard Sherwood

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Notes for editors

  1. For media enquiries, please contact NMC press office on 020 7681 5649 or email media@nmc-uk.org.
  2. The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) is the independent professional regulator for nurses and midwives in the UK. We exist to protect the public. We do this by maintaining the register of qualified nurses and midwives and setting standards of education, training, conduct and performance. We make sure that nurses and midwives keep their skills and knowledge up to date through a regular revalidation process. If concerns are raised about the standards of a registered nurse or midwife, we have a duty to investigate and, where necessary, take action to protect the public.