Nursing Associate Apprenticeship

Introduction to the Apprenticeship

A nursing associate is a new and vital member of the wider nursing team in England. This standalone role is designed to help bridge the gap between health and care assistants and registered nurses.

Nursing associates work with people of all ages in a variety of settings in health and social care. The role will contribute to the core work of nursing which will allow registered nurses to focus on more complex clinical care.

The School of Health and Social Care works closely with employers to provide employees with the opportunity to study for a Foundation degree (FdSc) to become a nursing associate through an apprenticeship funded by the Government and your employer.

The training combines work-based learning and education which is specific to becoming a nursing associate which, upon successful completion, leads to a Foundation degree and professional recognition, enabling you to register as a Nursing Associate with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

Benefits to Employers

Our programme is suitable for new and existing healthcare staff who are responsible for delivering direct services and who have the potential to take on greater challenges and responsibility as qualified nursing associates.

The programme aims to enable employers to:

  • Select, train, and develop their workforce according to an employer-defined standard
  • Work in partnership with an educational provider that has extensive experience in working with employers to deliver a flexible and practice-based qualifying Nursing Associate Foundation degree
  • Increase staff retention by offering career progression
  • Maximise the apprenticeship levy and embed apprenticeships in workforce planning and service transformation
  • Widen the participation into a career in nursing with a nationally-recognised qualification.

How You Study

The Nursing Associate Apprenticeship is a two-year (24 month) practice-based programme which combines learning and development through academic study, practice through the workplace, and alternative practice placements. The programme aims to develop your awareness of the knowledge, theories, skills, and behaviours for professional practice as a nursing associate, enabling you to apply professional skills and knowledge within a work-based context.

Apprentices learn through:

  • Day release for direct University study and distance learning
  • Work-based learning and placements
  • A protected study day with some of these formally timetabled for workshops, conferences, placement support ‘recall’ days, and interprofessional learning events at the University of Lincoln
  • One-to-one personal and professional development
  • Skills development sessions
  • Critical and written assessments, including written assignment, presentations, case studies, projects, and a practice-based portfolio.

Please note:

  • On the one day a week at the University, students can study through applied, blended learning, and a range of assessment methods
  • Protected learning time can take place at the University, in work, or on placement to provide additional support for your learning
  • As detailed above, some of these days are formally timetabled, however, some are untimetabled and could be used proactively by the student to meet identified and agreed learning needs through activities such as insight days and shadowing a qualified healthcare professional, additional training, research and personal study. This time will also be used for progress reviews.
  • Practice days are to be spent by carrying out supervised nursing associate practice in a range of complementary settings to give learners a broad experience of care within the different fields of nursing such as mental health, learning disability, child, and adult. 

Year One

Nursing Associate: Developing Self and Caring for the Individual

  • Fundamental Nursing Skills
  • Personal Development and Resilience
  • Nursing and the Interprofessional Team
  • Person-centered Holistic Adult Nursing Care

Year Two

Nursing Associate: Developing Others and Wider Care Engagement

  • Healthcare Sciences
  • Promoting Health and Preventing Ill Health
  • Providing and Evaluating Care
  • Becoming An Accountable Nursing Associate


You will be supported in your learning and development by an expert range of nursing professionals, including an academic teaching team who have extensive experience of working in practice settings as a trainee. The University of Lincoln offers you a range of additional support including a dedicated work placement team, carers, and industry professionals who will share their experiences and expertise, a dedicated subject librarian, student support, and a wellbeing service for access to services and information.

You will receive support from:

  • A university tutor who will act as your personal tutor to ensure consistency in academic and practice learning support throughout the programme
  • A workplace supervisor/practice educator (based in the Apprentice’s Hub), who will work in conjunction with your university tutor to make decisions on practice assessment through joint face-to-face meetings and student supervision. The supervisor will also provide learning and teaching in the workplace to support students, leading to the completion of each student’s portfolio, and the completion of a report and recommendation. During complementary placements, a supervisor will be identified to work with the university tutor.

Fees and Funding


If you wish to undertake this degree you will need an employer who can support your application as the course can be funded through government co-funding or the apprenticeship levy.


Level Duration Programme Band Maximum /Charge
5 2 years Foundation Degree Apprenticeship  NHS Pay Scale Band 3

If you are an organisation with a wage bill of £3 million pounds or more you will pay a small levy on any amount above that level. You can use that resulting funds to pay 100% of the course fees for any degree apprenticeships.

For further information on the School of Health and Social Care Nursing Associate Apprenticeship provision please contact Charli Clapham at

Entry Requirements

The programme is suitable for new and existing health and social care staff, who are responsible for delivering direct services and who have the potential to take on greater challenges and responsibility as registered nursing associates. Candidates have to be employed in a full-time equivalent relevant job role. 
Applicants need their employer to agree to fund the course. Applicants also need to demonstrate their ability to study academic subjects at foundation degree level, debate topics and issues, study independently as well as a member of a group, and successfully complete a range of assignments including researched essays and practical tests.
Applicants must be lawfully and normally a resident in the UK for 3 years for purposes other than study.  
They will need GCSEs Grade A-C in Maths and English or functional skills level 2 in Maths and English.
Applicants must demonstrate they:
  • have capability to develop numeracy skills required to meet programme outcomes
  • have capability in literacy to meet programme outcomes
  • have capability for digital and technological literacy to meet programme outcomes
Applicants must declare any criminal convictions and any previous related study (including apprenticeships) via a Suitability Form.
Applicants must be over 18 years of age on the first day of the apprenticeship.

Contact the Programme Leader

Charli Clapham

T: 01522 88 6968


Judith Mcleod