Information for employers

Employing nursing associates

As an employer you’ll want to know when you’ll be able to train and use nursing associates, as well as what support and information is available to help you make decisions about how the new role can be used in different health and care settings.

Organisations with responsibility for workforce and safe staffing will be developing tools and resources to support you in implementing the new role. We’ll provide links to these when they are available. In the meantime you may find it helpful to speak to those involved in the test sites via your professional networks.

Nursing associate apprenticeship

The nursing associate apprenticeship standard has been approved is now available for use. This is funded by employers via the apprenticeship levy and offers a work-based training route. It is based on the HEE curriculum at the current time but when we are the regulator of nursing associates, the standard will be changed to reflect our standards and education requirements.

Until we approve nursing associate programmes, apprenticeships must be delivered with the involvement of an NMC approved education institution for pre-registration nursing.

From a quality assurance perspective, we can’t yet say whether nursing associate apprenticeship will be comparable to qualifications gained via NMC approved programmes.

Protected title ‘nursing associate’

The government is consulting on making ‘nursing associate’ a protected title in England. This means that it will be an offence to practise in England as a nursing associate without being registered as one with the NMC, or falsely to claim to be qualified or registered.

Employers are strongly advised not to recruit people to ‘nursing associate’ posts who will not be able to practise as nursing associates once the title is protected, or to advertise posts as ‘nursing associate’ posts if they are not going to be filled by qualified and registered nursing associates..