A new role to bridge the gap between Care Workers and Registered Nurses
Introducing a new pathway for Apprentice Nursing Associates.
A nursing associate is a new member of the nursing team who can provide care and treatment in a wide range of health and care settings. The role is being used and regulated in England and it’s intended to address a skills gap between unregulated health and care assistants and registered nurses. The benefits of having a Nursing Associate include:
- Increased capacity of a Care Home to deal with patients’ clinical needs
- Reduced emergency admissions and potential increase in hospital discharges to the Care Home
- Provides a cost effective nursing team, with the team working together within the care plan to maximize skills
- Promoting career progression from care staff towards nursing will help to support staff retention, as well as attracting good quality staff.
Our project saw us enrol four care workers from East London as Apprentice Nursing Associates (ANA) at the University of East London. We developed and tested a workforce model for ‘arms-length supervision’ for the providers, integrating and collaborating with healthcare professionals currently involved within the care home and domiciliary care to provide support for nurse supervision. This enabled domiciliary care and care home providers without Registered Nurses on the team to employ Apprentice Nursing Associates (ANAs) and subsequently Registered Nursing Associates.
The model will support care providers to remodel their workforce to include clinical staff and support the development of a learning culture regarding work-based learning, supervision and support. In addition it will provide professional development opportunities for existing Registered Nurses which link with care providers to provide clinical supervision and support in line with Nursing and Midwifery Council standards and university requirements for the Apprentice Nursing Associate programme. Benefits include:
- An approach to undertaking educational audit and supervision to support Apprentice Nursing Associates within the new settings of care homes and domiciliary care.
- Registered Nurse professional development in relation to supervising and supporting learning for pre-registration nursing associates, applied to these non-traditional settings.
- Detailed workforce planning in relation to these new nursing roles in care homes/domiciliary care.
- The extension of ANAs into new settings, and a mechanism through which they can grow will be a key driver of the creation of integrated health and care teams, enabling the care sector to lead.
- The new role – together with other local work – will create a distinct care career path into nursing.
Recognition at Adult Social Care Awards
Ajeesh Thomas, a care worker at Ebury Court and one of our Apprentice Nursing Associates was recognised for his outstanding performance and contribution to the health and safety of the care home residents he supports, at the Chief Nurse Adult Social Care awards.
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