The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) is consulting member’s on their view of the nursing associate role.
The survey will help inform the RCN’s response to a wider consultation into the new role, currently being carried out by Health Education England (HEE). The organisation wants to hear from members on all aspects of the role, including its title, responsibilities and regulation.
‘It is vitally important that everyone has a say, including registered nurses, midwives and health care support workers,’ said Tanis Hand, RCN professional lead for healthcare assistants. ‘We welcome the recognition of the value of healthcare support workers and we support initiatives that enable them to build their skills and access training in a structured way. We have called for standardised, consistent education and a career framework for support workers for many years.’
Although the plans for nursing associates only apply to England, the RCN said that it welcomes the views of members in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The RCN survey closes on Wednesday 24 February, while the HEE consultation closes on Friday 11 March.
‘HEE are consulting on all parts of the proposal, so we encourage RCN members to have their say on what the new role may look like and how it might impact on the current nursing workforce,’ added Ms Hand. ‘Most importantly, the final decision must be in the best interest of patients.’
The new nursing associate role was announced by health minister Ben Gummer in late December, during a parliamentary debate on the decision to replace student nurse bursaries with loans. The role will bridge the gap between healthcare support workers, who have a care certificate, and registered nurses.