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Nursing Associate Programme

Nursing Associate Programme combines academic study and work-based learning in the physical, psychological and public health aspects of care.

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This Foundation Degree for Nursing Associates is a two year apprenticeship programme validated by De Montfort University and delivered at the Leicestershire School of Nursing Associates, based at Glenfield Hospital. 

Nursing is an evolving profession and the Nursing Associate role forms an integral part of the nursing family. The Nursing Associate will be part of a team around the patient and will provide an exciting opportunity for those individuals who may want to progress their careers in the field of health and social care.

This programme of study focusses on developing individuals to meet the healthcare needs of patients and service users across a range of acute, primary and community health and social care settings.

Whilst on this programme of study, trainee Nursing Associates will be prepared to provide high quality, holistic, person-centred care to individuals under the leadership and direction of a level one registered nurse. You will be trained to employ professional judgement to ensure that the degree of autonomy you exercise is always within the parameters of your scope of practice.

You will be equipped with: professional values and behaviours; breadth of knowledge and understanding and a flexible, portable skillset which will enable you to serve local health populations in a wide range of health and care settings.

You will also develop strong, positive and therapeutic working relationships between professional partners, patients, families and carers. Working individually and with others, you will play a part in reducing unwarranted variation in health and care and in ensuring that the right care is delivered in the right place, at the right time.

During the programme the trainee Nursing Associate (TNA) will be employed at a Band 3

Click here to find out more about the national Nursing Associate Programme


Reasons to study Nursing Associate Programme validated by DMU:

  • This programme provides the opportunity to work as a Band 3 employee while also studying an academically accredited programme

  • Gives you the opportunity to rotate into other work areas and placements within your employing organisation for up to 15 weeks per year, providing the opportunity to view to care within a range of contexts

  • Provides the opportunity to gain registered nursing associate status with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)

  • Delivered by a dedicated team of practitioners from across healthcare providers in Leicestershire
  • Our suite of courses have been designed and delivered through strong partnerships between academics, clinicians and healthcare professionals; providing you with the best possible learning experience and the ability to keep up-to-date with the best clinical practices 


More courses like this

Nursing with Registration (Adult Nursing)

Nursing with Registration (Child Nursing)

Nursing with Registration (Learning Disability Nursing)

Nursing with Registration (Mental Health Nursing)


  • UK/EU
  • International

Key facts for UK/EU students

Institution code: D26

UCAS course code: N/A

Duration: 2 years

Location: The Leicestershire School of Nursing Associates, Glenfield Hospital, UK

Key facts for International students

Not available to International students


Entry criteria

To apply for the programme you must also have:

  • A substantive HCA post (or similar care worker post)
  • Have the full support of your line manager 
  • Be able to work a minimum of 30 hours a week 
  • GCSE in Mathematics and English Language at either Grade C or above (old style grades) or Grade 4-9 new style grades

  • OR Functional Skills Level 2 in mathematics and English or equivalent (not entry level 2)


Prior to applying confirmation will be sought from your line manager that they understand and accept the commitment to the Programme.

On interview all candidates will be asked to complete a numeracy and literacy test.


Structure and assessment


Course modules

Teaching and assessments

Supervision and support



First Year

  • Professional Values and Scope of Practice
  • Delivering Care
  • Person Centred Care
  • Communication and Interpersonal Skills
  • Work Based Learning Portfolio 

Second Year

  • Duty of Care, Candour, Equality and Diversity
  • Research, Development and Leadership
  • Team Working and Leadership
  • Supporting Learning and Assessment in Practice
  • Work Based Learning Portfolio

A wide range of teaching and learning methods are used on this programme including:

  • Case studies to ensure that trainees are able to link the underpinning theory to the patient/client group within their own practice setting
  • Guest lecturing to ensure that all practice areas can be represented to support the trainees’ ability to develop knowledge specific their areas
  • Simulation which facilitates the learning of new skills within a safe environment and allows trainees to have an understanding of some situations which may be rarely seen within practice
  • Scenarios to ensure that trainees relate theory to practical experiences
  • Small group work to enable the deeper exploration of topics within smaller groups
  • Action learning sets to enable trainees to develop an effective relationship with individuals from across different settings to share knowledge and experience; it is anticipated that action learning sets will remain unchanged throughout the programme
  • Workshops to develop specific learning around a key topic e.g. sample collection
  • Reflection to ensure that trainees learn from prior experiences and develop action plans to address learning needs
  • Student presentations to develop confidence in relaying information to others
  • Focused tutorials to ensure that trainees are prepared for assessments. This aims to facilitate the trainees’ ability to integrate theory with practice and meet the diverse needs of the group include teaching methods, programme study, teaching hours, personal study

Trainees will be assessed through work-based learning and a variety of academic assessments such as exams, reflective writing, essays, presentations and case studies.


What supervision do trainees need?

Trainees will need a registered healthcare professional to take the lead in supporting them through each placement experience (a Supervisor); they will need to be able to work alongside them and support trainees to access a range of opportunities to facilitate the achievement of outcomes.

Will trainees be supernumerary?

No. Trainees will still be employed and able to undertake their existing role; however they need to be supported to undertake learning in practice under the supervision of a registered professional which may mean that they have to be relieved of certain duties.

Pathway opportunities should be supported to enable trainees to experience and understand the patient journey.

Facilities and features

Facilities and features

This programme is delivered at the Leicestershire School of Nursing Associates, based at Glenfield Hospital. Trainees will be given access to the Clinical Library facilities on each of the three sites within University Hospitals Leicester.

There is also a Simulation Suite for supporting both adult and child simulation clinical skills. Trainees are also encouraged to use the facilities available at De Montfort University including Library and student services and to engage with the activities of the Student Union.

Students will be given full on-line access to resources such as DMU Library and the blackboard learning environment.


We have 1,500 study places and 650 computer workstations across four sites on campus.

During term time the main Kimberlin Library is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, giving access to more than half a million publications and a wide range of DVDs, as well as e-resources and thousands of electronic journals. Award-winning staff are on hand to help and there is a café for study breaks.

We offer a range of workshops, drop-ins and one-to-one sessions, plus our Just Ask service provides email or telephone support.

Learning zones

Our comfortable and well-equipped study areas provide a range of environments to suit your needs.

Originally set up in our main Kimberlin Library, the learning zones proved so popular that more were created in the Eric Wood building and Greenhouse. These flexible spaces are ideal whether you are working as a group, practising a presentation or working quietly on your own.

They feature workstations with power supplies for laptops, plus bookable syndicate rooms with interactive whiteboards and DVD players. Eduroam wi-fi is available across all campus locations.

Opportunities and careers

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During the two year programme trainees must experience placements in different settings; care in hospital, care closer to home and care at home to be able to evidence the transferability of their skills.

These will take place three times a year in five week blocks and will be planned into each individual programme to ensure that any pre agreed annual leave is considered; annual leave cannot be taken during these weeks.

Pathways will be included within these experiences to ensure that trainees explore the patient journey.

CCJ Policing Graduate

Graduate Careers

This is an exciting new programme of study for those already employed as HCAs who are interested in developing their career and becoming a Registered Nursing Associate (RNA).

On successful completion of the programme nursing associates will transfer onto band 4 Nursing Associate posts within the area they have been seconded from.

Nursing Associates will also be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

In the future there may be opportunities for RNAs to go on to study at academic level 6 and become Registered Nurses.


Further information

If you have any other questions or would like to discuss supporting the programme, please contact Annabel Coulson, Programme Leader on:



DMU Open Days

The next DMU Open Day will take place on Saturday 13 February

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How to apply

This course is available via direct application to University Hospitals Leicester for those who are already employees of local public and private sector healthcare providers.

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