Nursing students working with qualified nurses and patients

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

As per:

  • Institute for Apprenticeships & Technical Education (IfA)
  • NMC (2018) Standards of proficiency for nursing associates
  • NMC (2018) Standards for student supervision and assessment


  •  Must be employed for 30 hours or more per week in a healthcare setting with qualified RN / NA Practice Supervisors / Assessors on-site
  •  Satisfactory enhanced DBS check.
  •  In good health
  •  L2 Functional Skills / GCSE Grade ‘C’ / 4 or above in English
  •  L2 Functional Skills / GCSE Grade ‘C’ / 4 or above in Mathematics
  •  L3 qualification demonstrating ability to work at academic L5
  • Capability for digital and technological literacy to meet programme outcomes


Our Pre-registration Nursing Associate (NMC, 2018) higher apprenticeship enables new and existing healthcare staff to study for a fully-funded FdSc and professional qualification leading to eligibility for entry to the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) register whilst in paid employment. 
The programme is ‘well-taught by very well-qualified and highly experienced health care professionals’ (Ofsted, 2020). Through our rigorous programme, we will help you to develop the clinical knowledge, skills and professional attributes required to support the provision of safe, effective and high quality nursing care. You will become an important part of the nursing family, significantly supporting RNs and patients, and 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

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 professional course with attendance at University one day a week (540 hours over 2 years)
    • Apprentices maintain a Practice Assessment Document (PAD) and work in clinical practice under Direct / Indirect Supervision of qualified RN / NA Practice Supervisors in accordance with the NMC (2018) Standards for student supervision and assessment.
    • Apprentices must complete 2300 programme hours in accordance with NMC (2018) Standards of proficiency for nursing associates
    • Of these 2300 programme hours, apprentices undertake a minimum of 460 hours in placements under Direct Supervision of a qualified RN / NA Practice Supervisor which must include Hospital; Community and At Home
    • As the nursing associate role is ‘generic’, apprentices must also gain some experience across the four branches of nursing including Child Health; Mental Health; Learning Disability and Adult Nursing. This must also be under Direct Supervision of a qualified RN / NA Practice Supervisor
    • For the remaining 1300 programme hours, apprentices work under Direct / Indirect Supervision of a qualified RN / NA Practice Supervisor whilst continuously working towards achievement of the NMC (2018) Standards and working professionally within The Code (NMC, 2018)
    • Apprentices are formally assessed in clinical practice by qualified RN / NA Practice Assessors twice each academic year, and an Ongoing Achievement Record (OAR) is maintained to monitor progression
    • Assessments include Episodes of Care and Medicines Management
    • Please note that all placements are organised and managed by the employer
    • Once qualified, Nursing Associates may work across a wide range of healthcare settings and clinical areas, including acute or community hospitals; community nursing teams and GP practices.

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 pre-registration nursing associate apprenticeship will include six, 20 Credit modules of study, each of which will be academically 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.

You will be supported in practice by a qualified RN / NA Practice Supervisor and continually assessed through a Practice Assessment Document (PAD). This includes evidencing achievement of the NMC (2018) Standards of proficiency for nursing associates, and demonstrating that you are working within the professional values defined within The NMC Code (2018).

To support your PAD, you will also maintain an ePortfolio of Evidence where you will record your reflections on various aspects of professional practice.

In addition to continuous assessment and maintaining an ePortfolio of Evidence, there are also two formal assessment points in practice each academic year. This is to ensure you are applying your newly learned knowledge and skills and this is assessed through two episodes of care and one medicines management assessment. These are undertaken by a qualified RN / NA Practice Assessor

Upon successful completion of the two-year academic programme and when all programme hours have been achieved, you will undertake an ‘End-Point Assessment’ (EPA). This is usually within three months of the University Subject Panel & Award Board. The EPA is provided by an independent External Assessor and will include two, 1-Hour Professional Discussions.

What support will you receive?

In practice you will be supported by qualified RN / NA Practice Supervisors and many organisations have Practice Educators / Vocational Leads who oversee your learning experience in practice, and arrange placements. The University also conducts 12 weekly Tripartite Reviews with you and your Practice Educator / Vocational Lead, and RN / NA Practice Assessor. This it to ensure that you are supported and meeting the requirements of the programme and making the expected progress. These reviews are arranged for the following weeks in the programme and you will be notified about them, in advance:

  • Weeks 5 – 7
  • Weeks 14 – 16
  • Weeks 24 – 26
  • Weeks 33 – 36


Year 1

  • FDNA407 Evidence-Based Practice in Nursing.
  • FDNA408 Applied Anatomy & Physiology for Nursing Associates.
  • FDNA409 Holistic Assessment in Nursing Associate Practice.
  • FDNA410 Providing and Managing Care
  • FDNA411 Therapeutic Relationships through Effective Communication.
  • FDNA412 Being an Accountable Professional

Year 2

  • FDNA507 Promoting Public Health & Preventing Ill Health
  • FDNA508 Medicines Management.
  • FDNA509 Team Working and Leadership.
  • FDNA510 Improving Patient Safety & Quality of Care through Research
  • FDNA511 Supporting Teaching, Learning & Assessment in Practice.
  • FDNA512 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
Adult Nursing students