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Nursing associate FAQs

Do qualified nursing associates have a PIN number?

All qualified nursing associates are governed by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

Nursing Associates will have their own PINs and will be on a separate part of the NMC register to other nursing staff.

Who is accountable for the care a qualified nursing associate provides?

As registered professionals, nurses, midwives and nursing associates are accountable for all aspects of their own practice. This includes their own accountability for choices of what to delegate, and for what activities they either take on themselves or which are delegated to them.

What's the difference between a registered nurse and a nursing associate?

Registered nurses and nursing associates:

  • are accountable professionals
  • promote health and prevent ill health
  • improve safety and quality of care

However, there are some key differences.

Nursing associatesRegistered nurses
Provide and monitor care Provide and evaluate care
Work in teams Leading and managing nursing care within teams
Contributing to integrated care Coordinating care
  Assess needs and plan care

What uniform will a qualified nursing associate wear?

Qualified nursing associates will wear a "peacock blue" dress or tunic with white piping. This shade of blue differs from that worn by a healthcare assistant or registered nurse.

Can qualified nursing associates administer medication?

Once they have completed the competencies required by the Trust, qualified nursing associates are able to administer medications via a variety of routes, including:

  • oral
  • topical
  • subcutaneously and intramuscularly

Is there any medication a qualified nursing associate can't administer?

Qualified nursing associates are unable to administer patient group direction (PGD) medication.

Can nursing associates undertake expanded roles, such as cannulation and intravenous therapy?

In settings where it is deemed appropriate, nursing associates may expand their scope of practice in accordance with Trust policy and after successful completion of Trust-approved education and assessment.

Can nursing associates second check controlled medication?

Nursing associates are able to second check controlled medication if a registered nurse is the first checker.

Can nursing associates administer controlled medication?

Nursing associates are able to administer symptom-relieving medication.

What sort of skills or behaviours are nursing associates expected to have?

The Trust will use a manager nomination and values-based recruitment approach in order to assess the applicant’s suitability for the role. This will be based on the skills required to successfully complete the programme and demonstrate the values required of people working in the NHS, which align with the values of the NHS Constitution and the Trust.

Will nursing associates be used to replace registered nurses on wards?

Training associates will support registered nurses to deliver fundamental care to patients and will not replace nurses.

Do nursing associates need to revalidate?

Yes. All nursing associates are expected to follow the same revalidation process as a registered nurse.

Will nursing associates carry out invasive procedures without direct supervision?

Upon qualification, nursing associates will be able to carry out invasive procedures in settings where it is deemed appropriate and once educated under the direction of a registered nurse or registered professional. This is essential in order to understand the appropriate and safe use of invasive and non-invasive procedures such as inserting a cannula, urinary catheter or other medical devices.

Last reviewed: 17 June 2021