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Oxfordshire People Plan | Trainee Nursing Associates

image of male nurse

This page provides details for care providers considering taking on apprentice (trainee) Nursing Associates.

Additional funding has become available for Nursing Associates who register before 31st March 2020. This offer was available previously, but only for a short period so with this new offer you may want to consider this as an option to upskill your existing care staff.

Nursing Associates are currently predominately in health trusts and several providers have asked about nursing associates with a social care focus. Health Education England have been having discussions with several providers since this increased funding was made available and wanted to ensure that every provider who is interested can take advantage of this time limited offer.

The offer from Health Education England of £7,200 of funding paid directly to employers for each nurse associate that is employed by any care home before 31st March 2020. This offer is an additional £4,000 for each nurse associate recruited and is there are no guarantees that this additional will be repeated in future years.

Further information:

Nursing Associates are a new post at NHS Band 4. The Nursing and Midwifery Council has now signed off Nursing Associates and will regulate this role.

Oxfordshire’s programme is delivered by Health Education England Thames Valley and Brookes University.


What experience do care staff need to apply?

  • Care staff must have some experience of health and social care delivery.

What standard English and Maths do staff need?

  • Ideally, English and Maths at NVQ Level 2 (GCSE), but each applicant will undergo a core skills functionality test.
  • A degree (NVQ Level 4) is not a bar to applying.

Does my company need to be eligible for the apprenticeship levy to take on an apprentice?

  • Small employers can just say ‘yes we’re in’.
  • Apprenticeship levy is applicable if a company has 250+ employees, but any care provider interested can apply. HEE TV will undertake a matching process using unused NHS apprenticeship levy.
  • Small employers will need to complete a short financial contract to comply – HEE TV will guide employers through this.

What time commitment does a trainee / apprentice Nurse Associate need to complete the course?

  • 1 day per week is required for education. The academic year runs across the Brookes academic calendar.
  • Work placements consist of 670 hours over two years (up to 9.5 weeks per year split into 4 & 5 week blocks). Ideally these would run across the summer period. The NHS has Learning Environment Leads to help coordinate placements and will aim for like for like replacements wherever possible to ensure employers do not lose a staff member whilst their apprentice is on work placement, but employers are ultimately responsible for finding placements.
  • Students are expected to be self-supporting and self-motivating in their learning.
  • All candidates will need to be formally interviewed.

How much does a trainee Nursing Associate cost?

  • The total cost is £15,000 per Nursing Associate over two years (£7,500 per year).
  • For 2019 intake, Health Education England will fund each apprenticeship £7,200 paid directly to employers.

Are there any other tasks to be undertaken by the employer?

  • The employer will be required to provide programme monitoring for each traineee Nurse Associate.

This offer runs to the end of December 2019. These are the indicative milestones based on 2018 timetable:

  • w/c 4 November 2019: Further information day led by HEE TV. Contact us for more details.
  • 4 November 2018: Opportunity for further discussion at the Oxfordshire Provider Conference 2019;
  • w/c 11 November 2018: Deadline for expressions of interest;
  • Apprentice Nursing Associate interviews:
    • to be confirmed;
  • w/c 9 December: Induction of apprentice Nursing Associates;
  • 31 December: Deadline for enrolling applicants;
  • January 2020: Course begins.


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[page updated 06-Nov-2023]