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Supporting health and social care providers in Devon

Trainee Nursing Associates

The Nursing Associate role, established in 2017, is part of the nursing family and becoming recognised as integral in the delivery of healthcare across England. Nursing Associates work in the NHS and Health and Social Care settings as registered healthcare practitioners as part of a multidisciplinary team.

Devon County Council’s (DCC) pilot Nursing Associate cohort for staff in Adult Social Care began in March 2020. A second cohort of trainee Nursing Associates (TNA) commenced their studies in April 2021. There are three universities in Devon delivering the Nursing Associate programme enabling learners to study close to home and work.

Currently the programme is accessed via the apprenticeship route. The apprenticeship is supported by financial support from Health Education England (HEE) and from DCC for the study skills module ‘Bridging Programme’, supporting learners with skills for higher education.

There is information about the Nursing Associate role available on the NMC website and Skills for Care website.


Quotes from individuals involved in the pilot programme:

From the TNA perspective:

“I am more knowledgeable, and more confident in my practice”

“I think about why things are happening”

“The new knowledge helps me in my role”


From the Registered Manager perspective:

“They are supporting the RNs already”

“The programme is brilliant for social care; it provides understanding and context”


Jennifer Lunnon, Adult Social Care Nursing Lead.


Nursing Associate Guide

The Guide has been produced through collaborative effort from all sectors in Devon involved in the development of the Nursing Associate role in our Health and Social Care workforce. It provides a lot of information around the role including some case studies from Nursing Associates in the county. The guide is for anyone who may be interested in the role – employers, relatives, residents, patients and potential TNAs.

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