Nursing Associate Higher Apprenticeship - information for employees

How to apply

The potential apprentice will be required to complete an Initial Needs Assessment (INA) with the support of their employer and the University to ensure the Apprenticeship programme is an appropriate solution to their skills development needs. On completion of the INA the University will assess the information provided and determine the next steps.

The employer must request the Initial Needs Assessment by emailing

  • Must be employed for 30 hours or more in a healthcare setting.
  • Satisfactory enhanced DBS check.
  • Level 2 Functional Skills in English and mathematics, or GCSE Grade C or above.
  • Ability to work at academic Level 5.


Our Nursing Associate apprenticeship enables new and existing healthcare staff to study for a fully-funded FdSc in nursing whilst in paid employment. 

Delivered by experienced Registered Nurses, the flexible, work-based programme provides you with the knowledge and skills to support the provision of quality healthcare. You'll become an important part of the nursing family, helping to make a difference to individuals, their families and communities.

Once qualified as a Nursing Associate you may work across a wide range of healthcare settings, including:

  • acute or community hospitals (across a range of clinical areas)
  • community nursing teams
  • GP practices.

Key benefits

  • @ No course fees – costs are covered by the government and your employer.
  • @ Earn while you learn – remain employed and receive a full wage while studying.
  • @ Ongoing support – guidance from experienced academic tutors as well as qualified staff for the duration of the programme.
  • @ An education provider you can trust – our reputation in delivering high quality nursing education for 20 years, as well as internationally renowned research, has enabled us to become the largest provider of healthcare education in the South West.

Programme overview

  • Designed for employees working a minimum of 30 hours per week in a healthcare setting, who would like to obtain a professional qualification in nursing whilst continuing to earn a salary.
  • Two-year course with attendance at University one day a week. 
  • For the duration of the programme you’ll split your time between study and guided practice, undertaking placements in a variety of settings.
  • Following completion, apprentices will have the opportunity to continue their studies with a view to becoming a Registered Nurse.

Core learning

  • Delivering high-quality, person-centred care, underpinned with evidence-based knowledge.
  • Communication and interpersonal skills, and working within therapeutic relationships.
  • Team working and leadership skills, and using research to support change and innovation in your workplace.
  • Professional values which underpin modern healthcare practice.

How will you be assessed?

Both Year 1 and 2 of your nursing associate apprenticeship will include six modules of study, each of which will be assessed. Where possible, assessments will be linked to areas of practice you are working in, giving you the opportunity to demonstrate your personal learning and development.

In addition to continuous assessment and maintaining a Portfolio of Evidence, upon completion of the 45 week course you will undertake an ‘End-Point Assessment’ (EPA). This will be provided by an independent External Assessor and will include an observation of nursing practice followed by a discussion about the professional domains of Nursing Associate practice.

What support will you receive?

Our experienced clinicians will be there to support you every step of the way. You will receive 12 weekly tripartite meetings with your mentor and a member of our apprenticeship team to discuss your progress, as well as receiving visits from your academic tutor once every semester.


Year 1

  • Evidence-Based Practice in Nursing.
  • Anatomy & Physiology for Nursing Associates.
  • Assessment in Nursing Associate Practice.
  • Managing Care through Planning, Implementation & Evaluation in Nursing Associate Practice.
  • Therapeutic Relationships through Effective Communication.
  • Nursing Associate Professional Values and Parameters of Practice.

Year 2

  • Assessing Public Health Needs.
  • Medication Management.
  • Team Working and Leadership.
  • Research, Development and Innovation.
  • Supporting Teaching, Learning & Assessment in Practice.
  • Developing Nursing Associate Skills and Practice.

Degree Apprenticeship: BSc (Hons) Nursing

On successful completion of the Nursing Associate Foundation Degree, employees may be interested in becoming a registered nurse. The Nursing Degree Apprenticeship is a flexible, work-based route for both new and existing healthcare practitioners.

The BSc (Hons) Nursing apprenticeship provides the opportunity to remain in employment whilst studying for a degree in adult or mental health nursing

Find out more about degree apprenticeships in nursing