COLUMN: The future nursing and care workforce

Kapadia Suneil
Kapadia Suneil

At a time when the NHS is under extreme pressure and also having to cope with a shortage of nurses, it’s incredibly exciting that Lincolnshire was successful in a bid to pilot the training of care staff in the new nursing associate role.

We have welcomed 15 trainee nursing associates into Pilgrim Hospital this month with a meet and greet with chief nurse Michelle Rhodes and our matrons. We have 25 nursing associates across the Trust.

The first two weeks were spent at university but now they are learning and working on wards and theatres.

The nursing associate programme is full time over two years and is practice based with academic input from the University of Lincoln. We’re part of a Lincolnshire wide circuit supporting this initiative along with other health and social care providers. We are one of five ‘circuits’ which make up an East Midlands collaborative area that will provide consistency across the region for this new role.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has formally agreed to be the regulator for the role.

Lincolnshire is one of 11 sites in England to have been chosen to deliver the first wave of training. On qualification, these trainees will become the first nursing associates in the country.

The nursing associate role will bridge the practice gap between nursing care support workers and registered nurses to deliver hands-on care for patients. It has the potential to transform the future of the nursing and care workforce. This is a great opportunity to develop and grow the future workforce with the right skills and knowledge to meet the delivery of high quality patient care in Lincolnshire. 

Please make our nursing associates feel welcome – you can spot them in their grey uniform with green piping.

* Dr Suneil Kapadia is the Medical Director of United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust.