Nursing Associate


The nursing associate is a bridging role between health and care assistants and graduate registered nurses. Nursing associates are new members of the care team, who are trained to foundation degree level. Created to deliver hands-on, person-centred care as part of nursing teams

The role was introduced in response to the Shape of Caring Review (2015), to help build the capacity of the nursing workforce and the delivery of high-quality care. It will be a vital part of the wider health and care team and aims to:

  • Support the career progression of healthcare assistants
  • Enable nurses to focus on more complex clinical work
  • Increase the supply of nurses by providing a progression route into graduate-level nursing.

Like with nurses and other healthcare professionals, nursing associates can expand their knowledge and skills with the right training and governance. The intention is for nursing associates to support, not substitute, registered nurses.

Scope of Practice

Role Responsibilities

Nursing Associate duties may include:

  • undertaking clinical tasks including cannulation, venepuncture and ECGs
  • performing and recording clinical observations such as blood pressure, temperature, respirations and pulse
  • Assisting with meeting Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) targets
  • Support the management of Long-Term Conditions
  • discussing and sharing information with registered nurses on a patients’ condition, behaviour, activity and responses
  • ensuring the privacy, dignity and safety of individuals is maintained at all times
  • recognising issues relating to safeguarding vulnerable children and adults

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) have published standards of proficiency for nursing associates. This document represents the standards of knowledge and skills that a nursing associate will need to meet in order to be considered by the NMC as capable of safe and effective nursing associate practice. These standards have been designed to apply across all health and care settings

Entry Requirements

  • To become a registered nursing associate with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), individuals must pass a foundation degree awarded by an NMC-approved provider, typically taken over two years.
  • Registered with the NMC

Training and Development


Please see above ‘Entry requirements’

Standard (on entry to Primary Care)

Additional Training opportunities

Supervision Requirements

Supervision is a process of professional learning and development that enables individuals to reflect on and develop their knowledge, skills and competence, through regular support from another professional.

Supervision can have different forms and functions and a number of terms are used to describe these. For this guidance we use the below terms and define them as follows:

  • Clinic/practice supervision: day-to-day support provided by a named/duty senior/more experienced clinician for issues arising in the practice.
  • Clinical/professional supervision: regular support from a named senior/experienced clinician/practitioner to promote high clinical standards and develop professional expertise.
  • Educational supervision: supports learning and enables learners to achieve proficiency.

Supervision Guidance for primary care network multidisciplinary teams (NHSE, 2023)


AFC Band 4

100% of actual salary plus defined on costs covered via ARRS Scheme.

Training and development funding

Nursing Associates may be entitled to wider NHSE commissioned funding to support their training and development requirements. Please contact the training hub for more information on this.

Recruitment Information

Where a PCN employs or engages a Nursing Associate under the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme, the PCN must ensure that the Nursing Associate meets the ‘Minimum Role Requirements’ stipulated in Annex B of the Network DES

Please find various resources in this section to assist in the recruitment and embedding of the Nursing Associate role in General Practice.

Additional Resources