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.

Why University of Bedfordshire?

  • 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)
  • 8th in the country in the University Green League (People and Planet 2019)
  • Eco Campus Platinum award (2020)
  • 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.

Get in touch

If you would like to find out about how we can help your organisation benefit from higher and degree apprenticeships call us on 0800 328 5334 or email