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.
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.