Skills for Care launches new nursing associate guide

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A new guide has been launched to enhance the understanding of the nursing associate role within social care.

Skills for Care, an independent body for the social care workforce, has launched ‘An employer’s guide to the deployment of qualified registered nursing associates in social care settings.’ The new material will support social care employers in the process of deploying nursing associate roles within their organisation.

What is a nursing associate?

The nursing associate is a generic nursing role in England that bridges the gap between healthcare support workers and registered nurses, to deliver hands-on, person-centred care as part of a multidisciplinary team in a range of different health and social care settings. Nursing associates are qualified members of the nursing team, having gained a Nursing Associate Foundation Degree awarded by a Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) approved provider.

Skills for Care has designed the guide to provide care providers and commissioners with a more detailed understanding of what to consider when thinking of including the role in different social care settings, how to consider the role in light of integrated services and partnerships in a long-term plan, and how to create a workforce plan to assess how a nursing associate can add value to their team.

The guide also outlines key regulatory frameworks which employers must understand when implementing this role in a social care setting. For commissioners, the guidance also encourages local dialogue regarding commissioning of nursing services and workforce redesign.

To enhance understanding of how the role may be deployed, the document includes examples of nursing associates in practice. The organisation hopes this will highlight the versatility of the role to suit different teams and situations.

Increasing awareness of the role

Skills for Care hopes the guidance will increase awareness of the registered nursing associate role across the social care sector, with a detailed breakdown of what the role is; how it fits into social care organisations; and the differences between a registered nursing associate and a registered nurse.

The guidance highlights the value that the registered nursing associate role brings to social care teams and aims to encourage nursing associates to choose a career in social care.

The guide can also help registered nursing associates better understand the role and why it may be right for them, by showing examples of how current registered nursing associates are working in different settings and how the scope of practice can differ depending on the team and situation.

It will highlight the skills expected of a nursing associate working in social care and improve understanding of the procedures which would be undertaken by a nursing associate working in social care.

Oonagh Smyth, CEO of Skills for Care, said: “I am delighted that our registered nursing associate deployment guidance has been published and I am certain this will provide invaluable support for organisations looking to deploy registered nursing associates within their team, to ensure the best value from this role for the organisation, the registered nursing associate, and the people they support.

“Skills for Care has championed the introduction of the registered nursing associate role and we are thrilled to see the positive impact this role has had for many teams across social care.

“Through increased awareness and understanding of the role of registered nursing associate, we can encourage more nursing associates to consider a rewarding, person-centred career in social care.”



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