The Trainee Nursing Associates Programme

Healthcare assistants who have a care certificate can enter the Trainee Nursing Associates (TNA) Programme to study for a foundation degree whilst they work. The degree is delivered by the University of Bolton through Petroc College in Barnstaple and is part of a joint initiative with NDHT.

The training is a combination of work-based competencies, hands-on experience and at least one intensive study day a week. At the end of the course, and on successful entry to the Nursing and Midwifery register the trainee nursing associates  are awarded permanent nursing associate band 4 positions.

Those who complete the two-year training can take a shortened nursing degree and go on to become registered nurses whilst some may prefer to continue in their nursing associate role, being ambassadors for future nursing associates.

NDHT also offer a scholarship programme which  helps to fund staff who wish to ‘top up’ their nursing associate qualification in order to complete their nurse training.

Anne-Marie Watkins

Trainee Nursing Associate

My journey into nursing began in January 2011, when I joined the Northern Devon Healthcare Trust as a healthcare assistant. Prior to this I had worked in the community with Devon Social Services as a domiciliary care support worker for 7 years. In November 2016 a fantastic opportunity to apply for the nursing associate pilot arose and I realised that I could move forward with a career into the nursing profession.

My ward manager and mentor have been very supportive along my journey, they have allowed me to take part in any courses that I have needed to help me make the transition from a healthcare assistant to a nursing associate, and I have thoroughly enjoyed learning many new clinical skills.

Additionally I have had some incredible and diverse placements, which have greatly improved my leadership, management and communication skills. Most importantly though I have met and developed friendships with some truly inspiring people along the way.