References

Allan I, McLafferty I The road to conversion for enrolled nurses: a literature review. Br J Nurs.. 1999; 8:(6)356-360 https://doi.org/10.12968/bjon.1999.8.6.6661

Campbell S, Greenwood M, Prior S Purposive sampling: complex or simple? Research case examples. Journal of Research in Nursing.. 2020; 25:(8)652-666 https://doi.org/10.1177/1744987120927206

An independent review into healthcare assistants and support workers in the NHS and social care settings. 2013. https//assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/236212/Cavendish_Review.pdf

Coghill E An evaluation of how trainee nursing associates (TNAs) balance being a ‘worker’ and a ‘learner’ in clinical practice: an early experience study. Part 1/2. British Journal of Healthcare Assistants.. 2018a; 12:(6)280-286 https://doi.org/10.12968/bjha.2018.12.6.280

Coghill E An evaluation of how trainee nursing associates (TNAs) balance being a ‘worker’ and a ‘learner’ in clinical practice: an early experience study. Part 2/2. British Journal of Healthcare Assistants.. 2018b; 12:(7)356-359 https://doi.org/10.12968/bjha.2018.12.7.356

Endacott R, O'Connor M, Williams A Roles and functions of enrolled nurses in Australia: perspectives of enrolled nurses and registered nurses. J Clin Nurs.. 2018; 27:(5-6)e913-e920 https://doi.org/10.1111/jocn.13987

Fewings H, Chambers T, Firth D, Combe K Trainee nursing associates' understanding of their clinical role: a review of the literature. British Journal of Healthcare Assistants.. 2022; 16:(10)476-483 https://doi.org/10.12968/bjha.2022.16.10.476

Report of the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Enquiry. 2013. https//www.gov.uk/government/publications/reportof-the-mid-staffordshire-nhs-foundation-trust-public-inquiry

Harlacher J: US Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Regional Educational Laboratory Central; 2016 https//ies.ed.gov/ncee/rel/regions/central/pdf/CE5.3.2-An-Educators-Guide-to-Questionnaire-Development.pdf

Mixed methods specialists in action: linking mixed methods research to learning and classroom assessment. 2017. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315709307-12

Hayton J Perspectives: The Nurse Associate: an asset to supplement the NHS workforce or a cheaper substitute for the registered nurse?. Journal of Research in Nursing.. 2016; 21:(5-6)483-486 https://doi.org/10.1177/1744987116656737

Hodge P The nurse associate role carves out a niche for itself. Primary Health Care.. 2018; 8:(4) https://doi.org/10.7748/phc.28.4.16.s15

NIHR Policy Research Unit in Health and Social Care Workforce, King's College London. Evaluating the introduction of the nursing associate role in health and social care: Interim report. 2020a. https//tinyurl.com/358s4y39

NIHR Policy Research Unit in Health and Social Care Workforce, King's College London. Evaluating the introduction of the nursing associate role: the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust Case Study. 2020b. https//tinyurl.com/2y6z7tex

NIHR Policy Research Unit in Health and Social Care Workforce, King's College London. Evaluating the introduction of the nursing associate role: the Livewell Southwest Case Study. 2020c. https//tinyurl.com/54xh4dk5

King R, Ryan T, Wood E, Tod A, Robertson S Motivations, experiences and aspirations of trainee nursing associates in England: a qualitative study. BMC Health Serv Res.. 2020; 20:(1) https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-020-05676-7

King R, Ryan T, Senek M The impact of COVID-19 on work, training and well-being experiences of nursing associates in England: A cross-sectional survey. Nurs Open.. 2022; 9:(3)1822-1831 https://doi.org/10.1002/nop2.928

King R, Laker S, Alden S Training and development experiences of nursing associate trainees based in primary care across England: A qualitative study. Primary Health Care Research & Development.. 2023; 24 https://doi.org/10.1017/S1463423623000221

Mildon B Nursing in Canada: roles, resurgence and resolve. Br J Nurs.. 2013; 22:(2) https://doi.org/10.12968/bjon.2013.22.2.74

Mikkonen K, Kyngäs H Content analysis in mixed methods research. In: Kyngäs H, Mikkonen K, Kääriäinen' M : Springer; 2020 https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-30199-6_4

Nursing and Midwifery Council. Who we regulate: We regulate nursing associates. 2023a. https//www.nmc.org.uk/about-us/our-role/who-weregulate/nursing-associates

Nursing and Midwifery Council. Registration data reports - November 2023 Mid-year report. 2023b. https//www.nmc.org.uk/about-us/reports-andaccounts/registration-statistics

Nursing and Midwifery Council. Standards of proficiency for registered nursing associates. 2024a. https//www.nmc.org.uk/standards/standardsfor-nursing-associates/standards-of-proficiency-for-nursing-associates

Nursing and Midwifery Council. Becoming a nursing associate. 2024b. https//www.nmc.org.uk/education/becoming-a-nursemidwife-nursing-associate/becoming-a-nursing-associate

Nursing and Midwifery Council. Council approves regulation of nursing associates in Wales. 2024c. https//www.nmc.org.uk/news/news-and-updates/council-approves-regulation-of-nursingassociates-in-wales

Parahoo K, 3rd edn. : Bloomsbury; 2014

Peate I The registered nursing associate: an overview. Br J Nurs.. 2023; 32:(6)292-296 https://doi.org/10.12968/bjon.2023.32.6.292

Robertson S, King R, Taylor B A local stakeholder perspective on nursing associate training. British Journal of Healthcare Assistants.. 2022; 16:(3)126-133 https//doi.org/0.12968/bjha.2022.16.3.126

Thomas DR A general inductive approach for analyzing qualitative evaluation data. American Journal Evaluation.. 2006; 27:(2)237-246 https://doi.org/10.1177/1098214005283748

Vanson T, Bidey T: Commissioned by Health Education England; 2019 https//tinyurl.com/cns9vjan

Raising the bar. Shape of caring: A review of the future education and training of registered nurses and care assistants. 2015. https//tinyurl.com/mryxwf6b

A mixed-methods exploration of the nursing associate role, programme experiences and future career pathways

06 June 2024
Volume 33 · Issue 11

Abstract

This article reports on a small mixed-methods research project undertaken with trainee nursing associates (TNAs) in the south of England. Aim: The aim was to gain insight into the motivation behind undertaking the nursing associate (NA) programme, how the NA role is perceived by service users and the wider healthcare team, and the future career pathways of NAs. Methods: Online questionnaires (n=14) and online focus groups (n=6). Findings: The results suggested undertaking the NA programme increased the TNAs' confidence and ability to use evidence to support their practice; that the role of the NA is not well understood. Some TNAs perceived the NA role as a distinct professional role, whereas others saw it as a way into registered nurse training. Conclusion: Role confusion still exists. Research is needed to capture how professional identities in new health and social care professional groups become established.

This article summarises a small mixed-methods research project undertaken with trainee nursing associate students (TNAs) during April to June 2021. The project set out to explore the experience of TNAs, their motivation for undertaking the programme, the perception of their role by others and their future career direction. Additional themes were uncovered including the impact of COVID, the efficacy of the TNA programme and professional growth.

The background to the implementation of the nursing associate (na) role that followed on from the mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust public inquiry (Francis, 2013), the Cavendish Review (Cavendish, 2013) and the Shape of Caring review (Willis, 2015) is well documented (Robertson et al, 2022; Peate 2023). The recommendations from the reports and reviews highlighted the need to bridge the gap between healthcare support workers and registered nurses (RNs). This led to the pilot of the NA role in 2017. The first two waves of the pilot featured 35 NHS trusts (Vanson and Bidey, 2019). Following the initial pilot, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) approved the NA Standards of Proficiency (NMC, 2024a) and opened the professional register to NAs in January 2019 (NMC, 2023a).

Register now to continue reading

Thank you for visiting British Journal of Nursing and reading some of our peer-reviewed resources for nurses. To read more, please register today. You’ll enjoy the following great benefits:

What's included

  • Limited access to clinical or professional articles

  • Unlimited access to the latest news, blogs and video content