The first job advert for trainee nursing associates at an NHS trust in Manchester has revealed some of the competencies the role is likely to be trained in, including knowledge of medications and their administration, as well as monitoring patients’ vital signs.
In addition to taking and recording vital signs – temperature, blood pressure, respiration and pulse – the advert states trainees will be taught to measure and record patients’ body waste and fluid intake, and also record and monitor their diet.
- Nursing associate test sites across England revealed
- Second wave of nursing associate trainees to start in April
Those in the new role will also “perform and record” blood glucose levels – by using finger pricks and blood glucose monitoring equipment – as well as urine testing. Results from both of these must be reported to a registered practitioner, according to the advert.
The job posting was published by Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, one of the 11 organisations chosen to lead the piloting of the new role across health and social care organisations in England from December.
It also revealed the wages that trainee nursing associates will earn during the two-year pilot programme, further details about the qualification they will receive, and who is eligible to apply.
However, Health Education England – the body responsible for developing the role – said the national job description for trainees and their rates of pay were still being finalised and that the trust’s advert was only based on a model version.
The body also stressed that the final job description for qualified nursing associates would not be produced until a full evaluation of the test sites had been carried out.
According to the advert, those training to become nursing associates will be paid band 2 wages on the NHS Agenda for Change payscale in their first year before moving on to a band 3 salary in the final year of the programme. It also noted that university fees would be government-funded through HEE during the pilot.
“Some model trainee job descriptions for the nursing associate role are currently under development”
The salary for a qualified nursing associate – designed to sit between a healthcare assistant and nurse – that worked in the NHS was “likely” to be at band 4, it added.
Following completion of the “generic” training programme, participants will achieve a foundation degree as an adult, children’s or mental health nursing associate, said the advert.
However, the posting states those who qualify will not automatically be given a job as a nursing associate, and that they will instead have to apply from a pool of jobs across Greater Manchester.
Meanwhile, people currently working as senior HCAs – known as assistant practitioners – will not be able to apply for the nursing associate training pilot, according to Central Manchester University Hospitals.
This was because assistant practitioners were already trained to foundation degree-level, said the trust. Instead, a top-up programme was due to be developed over the next 12 months for assistant practitioners to gain a nursing associate qualification, it said.
“The NHS Staff Council’s job evaluation group will make an assessment of the pay banding applicable”
Applicants to the nursing associate training programme will need to have level two ”functional” skills in English and maths, preferably demonstrated by GCSEs grades A to C.
They will also need to demonstrate an “ability to study at diploma level with a commitment to complete a foundation degree programme”, and have prior experience working in healthcare, said the advert.
In a statement provided to Nursing Times, HEE’s director of nursing Lisa Bayliss-Pratt said: “To be clear, these are our test sites and there will be full evaluation of the sites before any final model job descriptions can be produced for these roles.”
“Some model trainee job descriptions for the nursing associate role are currently under development, which this trust has based its job description on,” she said.
“They will be agreed at an HEE implementation group which includes NHS Employers and trade unions,” she said. “The NHS Staff Council’s job evaluation group will make an assessment of the pay banding applicable to these roles under the Agenda for Change rules. The expectation would be that national terms and conditions should be followed.
“Trusts will be starting training programmes in December so are keen to start testing the market early. Trusts will be recruiting from a broad pool of people with varying skills and experience and need to have flexibility in their recruitment and employment practices,” she added.