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Job Photographs

  • A man in a wheelchair is holding a toothbrush.  A man is standing next to him, looking towards him.  A woman is crouching down, holding up a mirror for the man in the wheelchair to see.

    Two nurses helping a man in a wheelchair to brush his teeth.

  • Two women, one wearing a blue nurse's uniform, are sitting next to each other, talking.

    Discussing a patient's treatment plan with them.

  • A woman, wearing a blue nurse's uniform, is taking a blood sample from the hand of a woman who is sitting in front of her.

    Using a blood glucose monitoring machine. Nurses work with a range of technical equipment.

  • A woman, wearing a blue nurse's uniform, is handing medicine to another woman who is sitting in a chair.

    Giving a patient their medicine.

  • A woman, wearing a blue nurse's uniform, is taking a patient's temperature by inserting a thermometer into their ear.

    Taking a patient's temperature.

  • A woman, wearing a blue nurse's uniform, is standing next to a seated woman.  She is taking the seated woman's blood pressure.

    Measuring blood pressure.

  • A woman, wearing a blue nurse's uniform, is standing at a small table, writing into a folder. Another woman is sitting in front of her, and they are talking.

    Writing up a patient's notes.

  • Nursing Associate

Nursing Associate


Nursing Associate is a newly created role in the NHS where, under the instruction of qualified Nurses, you will work alongside Care Assistants looking after people who are ill or injured. You'll give medicines and injections to patients, clean and dress wounds, and help to monitor the patient's vital signs.

Work Activities

As a Nursing Associate, you will gain the knowledge and experience you need by working alongside Care Assistants, under the instruction of a qualified Nurse. You will also study in order to gain a healthcare foundation degree, which will lead onto a shortened nursing degree.

You will work in hospitals, looking after people who are ill or injured. This will include giving medicines and injections to patients, cleaning and dressing wounds, and helping to monitor the patient's vital signs.

You will be able to specialise as either a:

  • Adult Nursing Associate
  • Children's Nursing Associate
  • Mental Health Nursing Associate

Whichever area you choose to specialise in, your focus will always be on the overall wellbeing of the person you are caring for, not simply their reason for needing medical care. This means that you will have to think about and plan how to meet all the individual's care needs, including their emotional needs, and take into account any social or personal problems they might have.

You must listen and talk to the patient, answering questions and dealing with any anxiety or concerns the patient might have. You might also talk to the patient's family or carers, updating them on the patient's progress or explaining treatment.

Other care duties which you might perform include making beds and helping the patient to eat, wash and dress.

Many types of nursing rely on sophisticated technology, such as life-saving and monitoring equipment. You may have to control or monitor various types of equipment.

This career is very new in England. They are not available in Wales.

Personal Qualities and Skills

To become a Nursing Associate, you'll need:

  • a friendly, caring nature to build relationships with the patients
  • tact and sensitivity
  • the ability to treat each patient as an individual
  • strong observation skills to read the signs that a patient's condition is changing
  • to be able to keep up with new procedures and treatments
  • the ability to listen to patients and their families, reassure them and explain things clearly
  • practical skills and the ability to use various types of equipment
  • physical fitness (in most areas of nursing, you'll be on your feet a lot)
  • number skills, for example, to take body measurements such as blood pressure
  • patience and tolerance to cope with demanding situations
  • emotional strength to deal with distressing situations
  • the ability to follow health and safety procedures
  • effective teamwork skills

Pay and Opportunities


NHS employees are paid on a rising scale within defined pay bands, according to your skills and responsibilities.

  • Starting - Band 3: £18,813 - £20,795

Hours of work

It is expected that you will work 37.5 hours a week. Shift work is usual. Some employers offer flexitime working, and overtime is common.

Where could I work?

At the moment this role is only available within the NHS. It is expected that opportunities will be available in towns, cities and rural areas throughout the UK.

Where are vacancies advertised?

Vacancies are advertised in local/national newspapers, on recruitment and employers' websites, and on Find a Job (

Social media websites, such as LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook, are a great way to network, find vacancies and get in contact with possible employers. Make sure that your profile presents you in a professional manner that will appeal to potential employers.

Take a look at our General Information Article 'Finding Work Online'.

Entry Routes and Training

Entry routes

To begin your training as a Nursing Associate, you’ll need GCSEs grade 9-4 (A*-C) in maths and English, or key skills level 2 in maths and English.


To enter this career, you will be academic learning one day a week and work-based learning the rest of the week.

You will need to demonstrate that you can study to level 5 foundation degree level, and commit to completing the Nursing Associate Apprenticeship programme.

Qualified Nursing Associates will be required to work to a nationally recognised code of conduct.


This career is all about progression. The role has been designed to provide people with an alternative entry into becoming a fully qualified Nurse. It is expected that you will eventually complete your Nursing degree and progress to become a fully qualified Nurse.

Work Experience

Previous experience of working in care enviroment will help you to get into this career - this could include working in a care home, nursery, or maybe caring for a relative or friend

Rehabilitation of Offenders Act

This career is an exception to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. This means that you must supply information to an employer about any spent or unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands or warnings, if they ask you to. This is different from other careers, where you only have to reveal information on unspent convictions if you are asked to.


In order to study for a level 5 qualification, employers may ask for at least 2 A levels. They may also ask for GCSE grade C/4 or above in English and maths.

Entry can also be possible with alternative level 3 qualifications such as:

  • NVQs
  • BTECs
  • City & Guilds
  • Cambridge Technicals
  • the International Baccalaureate Diploma

Some universities accept the Welsh Baccalaureate as equivalent to 1 A level.

Adult Opportunities

Age limits

It is illegal for organisations to set age limits for entry to employment, education or training, unless they can show there is a real need to have these limits.


Experience of working in care enviroment will help you to get into this career - this could include working in a care home, nursery, or maybe caring for a relative or friend.

Further Information

NHS Wales Careers

Publisher: National Leadership and Innovation Agency for Healthcare



Skills for Health

Skills for the health sector

Address: Goldsmiths House, Broad Plain, Bristol BS2 0JP

Tel: 0117 9221155



NHS Education for Scotland (NES)

Scottish enquiries

Address: Westport 102, West Port, Edinburgh EH3 9DN

Tel: 0131 6563200



Royal College of Nursing (RCN)

Address: 20 Cavendish Square, London W1G 0RN

Tel: 0345 7726100



Nursing and Midwifery Council

Address: 23 Portland Place, Marylebone, City of Westminster, London W1B

Tel: 020 7637 7181



Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Scotland

Scottish enquiries

Address: 42 South Oswald Road, Edinburgh EH9 2HH

Tel: 0345 7726100



Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland

Irish enquiries

Address: 18-20 Carysfort Avenue, Blackrock, County Dublin

Tel: 01 6398500



People Exchange Cymru (PEC)

Public sector recruitment portal for Wales



Croeso i Gyrfa Cymru

Dewiswch iaith


Welcome to Careers Wales

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