Kessler I, Harris J, Manthorpe J, Moriarty J, Steils N. The introduction and development of the nursing associate role: policymaker and practitioner perspectives.: NIHR Policy Research Unit in Health and Social Care Workforce/The Policy Institute, King's College London; 2021

Robertson S, King R, Taylor B Support and career aspirations among trainee nursing associates: a longitudinal cohort study. Nursing Times (online). 2021; 117

Reflecting on the trainee nurse associate role uptake and impact

13 January 2022
Volume 31 · Issue 1


Sam Foster, Chief Nurse, Oxford University Hospitals, considers the lessons from research into the trainee nurse associate role and the implications for workforce planning

I was pleased, as a participant, to receive the final research report from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), and King's College London following their survey work into the nursing associate (NA) role (Kessler et al, 2021). The research has been evaluating the role, concentrating on its deployment, use, management and impact, with the methodology including two surveys of nurse directors in NHS trusts (in 2019 and 2020), two NHS trust case studies, and a series of interviews with experts from health and social care.

This research is important for professional debate around workforce planning because, although there have been several studies—Robertson et al (2021) being one of the more recent—into the motivations, experiences, and aspirations of trainee nursing associates, the work from Kessler et al (2021) focuses on the implications of embedding newly qualified NAs into healthcare settings and enables employers to consider the findings to operationalise these roles into care delivery.

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