Nursing Associate

Job Description:

Nursing associates care for sick people of all ages in hospital and in the community, working closely with registered nurses.

Job Category:
Health Care & Social Assistance

What you will do:

In this role you could:

  • set up drips and take blood samples
  • record data, like temperature and blood pressure
  • clean injuries and give injections and medicines
  • share information about patients’ progress with registered nurses
  • support patients and their families
  • care for patients with mental health or learning disabilities


You’ll need:

  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
  • to pass an enhanced background check
  • knowledge of psychology

As well as:

  • a desire to help people
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail (organisational skills)
  • the ability to work well with others (teamwork skills)
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • excellent verbal communication skills
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a nursing associate, specific subjects are not typically required. However, a general education with a focus on science and English can be beneficial. Here are the subjects:

  1. Science: A science subject, such as Biology, can provide a foundational understanding of human biology and healthcare principles.
  2. English Language: Strong communication skills are essential for nursing associates, as you will need to interact with patients, healthcare professionals, and record patient information accurately.

While specific subjects are not mandatory, having a general education that includes science and English can be advantageous in the healthcare field. However, practical experience, on-the-job training, and relevant qualifications are often more important in becoming a nursing associate.

Post School

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role

You could do a nursing associate foundation degree at university. This usually takes 2 years to complete if you study full time.

Each university will set their own fees and have different funding options.

You can do a nursing associate higher apprenticeship. This will take you 2 years to complete and combines study with training on the job.

You could start as a healthcare assistant or care worker in a hospital or community care setting.

Once you have some experience, you could apply for a place on the nursing associate higher apprenticeship and train on the job.

You’ll find it useful to get some volunteering experience in health or personal care. This will help when you apply for jobs or training.

Working Hours and Environment:

Typically you could work 38 to 40 hours a week, occasionally including evenings, weekends, or holidays.

You could work in a public or private hospital, at a hospice or in the community.

Your working environment may be physically and emotionally demanding.

You may need to wear a uniform.

Career Path & Progression:

If you’re already a nursing associate, you can train to become a registered nurse by completing a shortened nursing degree or a nursing degree apprenticeship.