Nursing Associate Higher Apprenticeship

Nursing Associate Higher Apprenticeship

About the Course

The Nursing Associate is a relatively new role within healthcare designed to bridge the gap between Healthcare Assistant and Registered Nurse.

As a Nursing Associate you will be equipped with the knowledge, understanding, skills, attitudes, and behaviours relevant to employment as a Nursing Associate, working to a nationally recognised code of conduct.

The course meets the requirements of the national Nursing Associate Training programme curriculum and provides an outcome-based course of academic and work-based learning that will help you to develop the wide-ranging skills and capabilities required for this new role.

The programme includes the Foundation Degree in Nursing Associate.

Designed to be relevant, practical and challenging, to develop:

  • Study a practice-led and competency-based curriculum based upon the NHS Constitution and its values, developed by experienced nurses and delivered in partnership with local employers and services.
  • Develop your scope of practice enabling you to play an active part in improving service users’ and patients’ experiences of healthcare.
  • Build on your potential throughout this two-year course through the strong emphasis on work- based learning where you will be supported by a personal academic tutor and practice-based tutor to assist and enhance your development as a Nursing Associate.
  • On completion of the Foundation Degree, you will be eligible to apply for Nursing Associate posts or year 2 entry to one of our BSc (Hons) registered nursing courses (if you also meet the NMC entry requirement).

Who is it for?

  • This course is for healthcare workers currently working as a healthcare assistant supporting registered nurses caring for patients and service users.
  • A Foundation Degree will be of particular interest if you have completed a Modern Apprenticeship, vocational A levels, BTEC National or equivalent.

How the programme is delivered

During the course you will attend a range of practice settings alongside your employment in a healthcare setting and attend university for the equivalent of a day a week. Throughout the course you will be supported by both a practice mentor and a personal academic tutor.

The taught content and attendance at the university will be both face-to-face and/or online for on 1 day a week, with placements on another day a week.

Entry requirements

  • As a guideline, a typical offer would require you to obtain a UCAS tariff score of between 32-48 points, based on your level 3 studies.
  • We welcome applicants with relevant work experience.
  • On entry, trainee nursing associates should demonstrate an ability to work at level 2 literacy and numeracy.
  • Applicants will currently, or on enrolment, be employed in a health or care role. (Trainee nursing associates need to be employed in a setting where they can be appropriately supervised by a registered nurse or other appropriate health or care professional).
  • As the course includes work-based learning, there is a requirement for the student to be employed within the workplace for the duration of the course.
  • Applicants will need to demonstrate the ability to study a programme at academic level 4 (equivalent to first year of a degree), with the potential to progress to level 5 (equivalent to year 2 of a degree).
  • You will also need to demonstrate the appropriate values and attitudes for the programme in line with HEE’s value-based recruitment programme.

Duration of course is typically 24 months.

Qualifications include Foundation Degree in Nursing Associate.

English and Maths to Level 2 are included if not held at entry.

Cost: £15,000



  • Campuses in Bedford, Luton, Milton Keynes and Aylesbury.
  • We place strong emphasis on practical and professional skills alongside high quality education and training. Many of our programmes successfully combine employment with professional studies.
  • Employers and apprentices are supported by experienced Apprenticeship Co-ordinators, through workplace visits and regular reviews.
  • TEF Silver – Proud to achieve Silver in the Teaching Excellence Framework
  • Commended by the QAA for the high quality and standards of our higher education provision (QAA 2015)
  • Top 250 University under 50 years old (THE 2020)
  • One of 21 Business Schools awarded the Bronze Award for start-up and business growth advice (Small Business Charter)
  • 8th in the country in the University Green League (People and Planet 2021)
  • Eco Campus Platinum award (2022)
  • Continued investment in facilities for our students. Most significantly we opened a £40m STEM building at our Luton campus in 2019.
  • Our apprenticeship programmes can be configured to suit employers’ specific needs.