FdSc Nursing Associate (Higher Apprenticeship Route)

Our Level 5 FdSc Nursing Associate (Higher Apprenticeship Route) allows you to invest in your workforce by combining University education, work-based learning and ongoing professional development. While working as a valuable part of your team, your trainee nursing associate (TNA) apprentices can gain the skills and knowledge needed to deliver high quality, compassionate care under the direction of a registered nurse.

Nursing Associate (Higher Apprenticeship Route)

Key information

Award:

FdSc

Mode of Study:

Full-time

Duration:

2 years

Location:

The University of Bolton

Start date:

26/04/2021, 20/09/2021

Course Details

Our FdSc Nursing Associate (Higher Apprenticeship Route) is aimed at those who already have experience working in the health and care sector as well as those who are new to the caring professions. It’s an ideal route to progress the careers of health care assistants, maximising their value to your organisation and supporting them to achieve their potential. Nursing associates support registered nurses to ensure service users and their families receive effective, compassionate, safe and responsive nursing care in and across a wide range of health and care settings. The course qualifies as a Level 5 Apprenticeship under the Apprenticeship Levy guidelines and NMC Standards of Proficiency.

The FdSc Nursing Associate (Higher Apprenticeship Route) is currently available at the University of Bolton, Bradford Satellite Nursing Centre in West Yorkshire and Petroc College Satellite Nursing Centre in northern Devon.

Your trainee nursing associates (TNAs) will spend a significant amount of their time in work undertaking work-based learning. Study at the University or one of our satellite nursing centres complements learning in the workplace, supporting TNAs to develop the core knowledge, skills, values and behaviours required to work with patients of all ages in a range of settings covering pre-conception to end of life. Our dynamic and multi-disciplinary course team will support your TNAs as they learn to deliver high-quality person-centred care, taking account of the perspectives and pathways of individuals, their families and carers, and supporting the registered nurse in the assessment, planning, delivery and evaluation of care.

If you’re looking for undergraduate-level training in this subject area but don’t work for an employer who is offering apprenticeships, please see our related courses section for details of study opportunities that don’t require current employment. Alternatively, you can apply for a TNA position as an external candidate with one of the participating organisations. These positions are advertised through NHS Jobs.

TNAs need to develop a breadth of knowledge and a flexible, portable skill set that will enable them to serve local health populations. Together we’ll support your TNAs as they learn to work across a range of fields of nursing, such as mother and baby, children and young people, adults and older people, mental health and learning disability nursing.

Highlights
  • This higher apprenticeship gives you the opportunity to offer structured training, a recognised foundation degree-level qualification, and support towards professional registration with the NMC, helping you to attract the best new talent and retain valued staff through career progression.
  • Your TNAs will have access to state-of-the-art learning environments, such as modern teaching facilities with interactive classroom technology and clinical simulation suites where they will be able to practice skills and develop knowledge using clinical equipment and simulators.
  • Your TNAs will be guided by staff with extensive experience in nursing, healthcare and inter-professional education.
  • We’ll support your TNAs as they learn to deliver nursing care safely, in areas such as administering medication within the scope of the nursing associate, using medical devices, using invasive and non-invasive procedures and infection prevention and control.
  • We’ll help them to develop their knowledge of human anatomy and physiology, common health conditions and the principles and practice of medicine management, as well as develop the appropriate decision making and problem-solving skills needed to support the registered nurse.
Key Features
  • Our approach to teaching and learning is ‘student-centred’, so we’ll work with your TNAs on an individual basis, providing tailored help and support throughout their studies.
  • Course materials are available online, allowing your TNAs to prepare work at home and make the most of the highly interactive in-class tuition.
  • Essential values and behaviours are embedded within the programme. We’ll guide your TNAs as they learn the responsibilities and professional values of a nursing associate and the nursing profession, and encourage them to demonstrate a personal commitment to professional standards and ethical practice.
  • We’ll support your TNAs as they learn to treat people with dignity, respecting each individual’s diversity, beliefs, culture, needs, values, privacy and preferences.
  • TNAs will be encouraged to develop team working, leadership, communication and interpersonal skills, as well as a commitment to lifelong learning.
  • Quarterly and annual reviews, where each TNA, their workplace assessor and a member of our team meet to assess your TNA’s progress, promotes a continuing conversation between your workplace and the University. This helps to ensure the success of your TNA apprentices and maximise the value of their studies to your organisation.
Professional recognition

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) is the legal regulator for nursing associates.

Candidates who successfully complete the end-point assessment for this TNA apprenticeship will be able to apply to join the nursing associate part of the NMC’s register.

Successful TNA apprentices will be awarded the FdSc Nursing Associate from the University of Bolton and can apply for an apprenticeship certificate from the relevant apprenticeship certification body.


  • A level 2 or level 3 qualification in health and social care is desirable, but not essential.
  • Applicants must have GCSEs at grade C or above or grade 4 to 9 (or equivalent) including English Language and Mathematics and demonstrate the academic aptitude to undertake this programme. Functional Skills Level 2 in Literacy and Numeracy are accepted as equivalent to GCSEs. Please contact the University for other GCSE equivalent qualifications that would be accepted for entry onto this course.
  • Each candidate will be considered and selected on an individual basis by both the employer and academic staff.
  • Qualifications gained outside England and Wales will be assessed on an individual basis according to guidance by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).
  • After successful short-listing, applicants will be invited to take part in our values-based recruitment process that involves a face-to-face interview with practice staff and an academic tutor. Applicants will be assessed on their values, behaviours, communication and problem-solving skills, and undertake a numeracy and literacy assessment. Interviews will be undertaken within the employing organisation.
  • Applicants who are successful at the interview stage will be asked to undergo occupational health screening and a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check by their employing organisation.
  • Applicants must satisfactorily pass occupational health screening.
  • Applicants will need to demonstrate that they are of good health and good character prior to enrolment and on an on-going basis throughout their studies and career.
  • We’ll also require the completion of Higher Apprenticeship employer documentation prior to your employee’s commencement of the course.
  • Recognition of prior learning (RPL) route may be used for entry – RPL must be capable of being mapped to the NMC standards of proficiency for nursing associates and programme outcomes up to a maximum of 50% of the programme. This maximum limit of 50% does not apply to applicants to the programme who are currently a NMC registered nurse without restrictions on their practice.
  • This course involves regulated activity so applicants must gain an Enhanced Disclosure certificate from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) before starting their studies. Charges are payable to cover the cost of the DBS Enhanced Disclosure application and annual registration with the online Update Service.
  • Admission to this programme is only available to candidates who meet the following criteria. 1) They are employed for a minimum of 30 hours per week in a role relevant to the apprenticeship. 2) They have the right to live and work in the UK. 3) Their employer is participating in the Higher Apprenticeship scheme. 4) Their employer is willing to sponsor them to attend the University one day per week (times and dates to be determined). Please note that an apprentice cannot be self-employed.
  • If English isn’t your first language you’ll also need IELTS 7.0 with normally no less than 6.5 in any band (or equivalent). We also accept a range of other English language qualifications – please visit our English Language Requirements web page for more details.
  • To be eligible for tuition fee funding through the Apprenticeship Levy, candidates should not normally have already completed a qualification at the same level as the proposed apprenticeship, unless that qualification was gained in a completely unrelated discipline.

Want some reassurance or advice? Speak to one of our advisors. Email us at enquiries@bolton.ac.uk or call us on +44 (0)1204 903 903.

Where changes are made to material information contained in this course description or a decision is taken to suspend a course between the offer of admissions and enrolment, we will inform applicants at the earliest possible opportunity and will outline the various options available to the applicant.


A nursing associate is a member of the nursing team who provides care and support for patients and service users under the supervision of a registered nurse. The role is designed to address a skills gap between health care assistants and registered nurses.

Nursing associates are trained to work with people of all ages and in a variety of settings. It’s intended that the role will enable registered nurses to focus on more complex clinical duties.

Once qualified and registered, nursing associates will give care in a range of settings within health and social care. Like nurses and other health professionals, they may expand their scope of practice through further education and experience.

What can I do with this qualification?

Whilst the nursing associate is a stand-alone role in its own right, it also provides a progression route into graduate-level nursing. TNAs who successfully complete this programme will have the opportunity to apply for and be interviewed for the University of Bolton’s BSc (Hons) Nursing (Adult) programmes and may be eligible for year 2 entry.


Course fees

Apprentices will need to be employed by your organisation for a minimum of 30 hours per week. Your organisation will also need to commit to sponsoring apprentices to complete this qualification.

For further information on how your organisation can access funds to support apprentices, please e-mail connected@bolton.ac.uk.

Whether you’re an employer, employee or school leaver, please visit our Apprenticeship web page for support and advice regarding apprenticeships.

International applications are not possible for this course

As an international student you are not allowed to study this course because of the restrictions on your visa.

We offer a wide range of full-time courses in lots of different subjects, many of our courses start in September and January. If you would like to see what courses are available please visit our Course Search.

Useful information

TNA apprentices will not be expected to pay tuition fees towards this programme. Your organisation may be able to fund this Higher Apprenticeship though the Apprenticeship Levy (if your organisation is paying the levy).

The fees for a student’s course of study will be set for the normal duration of that course subject only to inflationary increases – measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) recorded in March each year to take effect for subsequent start dates.

The university is currently awaiting government guidelines as to EU fee charges for students commencing study in 2021/2022.


For details of how to apply for this course, please choose your status from the options below:

Please contact the programme leader for details of the application procedure. You can find their name, email address and phone number in the Programme Contacts section of this page.

For support and advice regarding apprenticeships, please visit our Apprenticeship web page.

International applications are not possible for this course

As an international student you are not allowed to study this course because of the restrictions on your visa.

We offer a wide range of full-time courses in lots of different subjects, many of our courses start in September and January. If you would like to see what courses are available please visit our Course Search.


The nursing associate role is diverse and multi-faceted, so we use a wide range of teaching and learning methods. These are designed to fully engage TNA apprentices, helping them to develop the skills, knowledge, self-awareness, values and behaviours essential to become a nursing associate, with particular reference to your organisation and their place within it. Learning focuses on your workplace environment so that TNAs build the competencies demanded by the role and learn to apply this expertise within your organisation. Your TNAs will spend a significant amount of their time in the workplace, with the rest of their time being devoted to off-the-job training and University learning. This balance is designed to meet the requirements of both the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and the Education and Skills Funding Council (ESFA).

Our tutors are research active and teaching is underpinned by rigorous research. Teaching methods will include lectures, presentations, simulations and practise of skills in our simulation suite, seminar discussions, small group workshops, small group tutorials and one-to-one tutorials.

As well as attending timetabled sessions, TNAs will also be expected to allocate significant time to independent and self-directed studies. For example, background reading, preparing for seminars, working on assignments and revising for exams will support their timetabled learning and help develop the skills required for lifelong learning. Our friendly and supportive tutors will be here to guide them, and will gladly help them devise an independent study regime focused on their individual development needs. Learning will also be supported by the University's virtual learning environment, Moodle.

The assessment strategy for the programme is designed to ensure that TNAs achieve the overall aims and learning outcomes of the programme, as well as the learning outcomes for individual modules. The assessment of practice and theory contributes to the final award. All assessments in practice (practice assessment documentation (PAD) and portfolio) must be passed before a TNA can progress to the next stage/term/year and completion of the programme. In addition to the assessments associated with the foundation degree programme, TNA apprentices will undertake an end-point assessment, at the end of the TNA apprenticeship period.

TNAs will be assessed using a range of methods, including essays, reports, presentations, objective structured clinical examinations (OSCE), traditional examinations and assessment of practice within the practice setting. Some assessments contribute to their final module marks, while others are designed to help them identify their strengths and weaknesses, and where they need to seek extra support from course tutors.

Your organisation will need to provide each TNA apprentice with a workplace assessor to support their development. They will also benefit from regular visits from a University or satellite nursing centre nursing lecturer or work-based apprenticeship trainer (WBAT). The practice assessor, nursing lecturer or WBAT and TNA apprentice will work together to create the individual learning plan required to ensure the TNA’s progress.

Modules

The modules listed below may be a mixture of compulsory and optional. You may not have the opportunity to study all the modules shown as part of the course.

  • Principles of Nursing Associate Practice
  • Anatomy and Physiology and the Foundations of Medicines Management
  • Wider Approaches to Promoting Health and Preventing Ill Health
  • Recognising Acute Physical and Mental Health and Illness for Nursing Associate Practice
  • Contributing to Integrated Care for People With Complex Needs and Associated Medicines Management
  • Enhancing Skills: Developing Leadership, Knowledge and Evidence Based Practice for the Nursing Associate
Assessment methods
LevelAssesment method
Level oneCoursework 60%, Practical exams 25%, Written exams 15%
Level twoCoursework 28%, Practical exams 62%, Written exams 10%
Learning activities
LevelLearning activity
Level oneGuided independent study 40%, Placement/study abroad 50%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 10%
Level twoGuided independent study 40%, Placement/study abroad 50%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 10%

Disclaimer

The university will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver your course as described in its published material and the programme specification for the academic year in which you begin your course. The university considers changes to courses very carefully and the university will minimise any changes. Please be aware that our courses are subject to review on an ongoing basis and changes may be necessary due to legitimate staffing, financial, regulatory and academic reasons. The content of course modules and mode of associated assessments may be updated on an annual basis. This is to ensure that all modules are up-to-date and responsive to employment and sector needs. The published course material and the programme specification contain indicative ‘optional modules’ that may be subject to change due to circumstances outside of our control. For this reason, we cannot guarantee to run any specific optional module.

Meet the team

The academic staff detailed above teach across a range of courses in this subject area and may not teach on this course specifically.

Programme Contacts

Siobhan Doolan
Programme Leader

S.Doolan@bolton.ac.uk

+44 (0)1204 903705

Enquiry Team
University of Bolton

enquiries@bolton.ac.uk

+44 (0)1204 903903

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