Becoming a Nursing Associate: A Narrative Evaluation of Learning and Working Report for Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group

Berragan, Elizabeth ORCID: 0000-0002-3345-6341 and Hughes, Samantha ORCID: 0000-0002-7715-9808 (2019) Becoming a Nursing Associate: A Narrative Evaluation of Learning and Working Report for Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group. Project Report. University of Gloucestershire. (Unpublished)

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Executive Summary Introduction This report explores the experience of becoming a nursing associate from the perspective of trainees who enrolled onto a Nursing Associate Pilot Programme at the University of Gloucestershire. Aims The aim of the study was to explore the trainees experience of working and learning through the programme. We also sought to establish the role of the programme in relation to widening participation and access to learning from the student’s perspective. Finally, our intention was to provide qualitative data to support the ongoing development and delivery of the programme both locally and nationally and to support future policy development in relation to workforce recruitment, training and retention. Method This study adopts a narrative case study approach reflecting the different perspectives of becoming a nursing associate at an experiential level. Qualitative data was collected through semi structured interviews during the programme and focus group conversations conducted at the end of the programme. Findings Eight themes emerged from the analysis; four related to the challenges associated with the NA programme and four related to positive aspects of the course. These were: lack of awareness of the NA role, perceptions and attitudes towards NA role, placement structure and organisation, lack of work-life balance (impact on health and well-being), learning and gaining knowledge, enhanced self-confidence, support for learning and working and, increasing awareness and information of the NA role. Conclusions and Recommendations The Nursing associate pilot programme has had a significant personal and professional impact upon participants in this study. The TNAs reported a growing sense of self-awareness and enhanced self-confidence. Recognition of the growth of academic and practical confidence and competence was also highlighted where students identified personal examples of self-belief and persistence in their journey towards Nursing Associate status. Engagement with peer collaboration, role modelling and social participation in university and in practice placement environments supported the development of professional identity, this was enhanced through participation in the programme. In relation to widening participation and access participants felt that a place on the nursing associate pilot programme offered opportunities for their future careers. Whilst there is much to celebrate, there are also a number of areas that warrant further discussion and evaluation. It is clear that awareness of the nursing associate role is an area for further thought and activity. Whilst considering awareness of the nursing associate role, recruitment for future cohorts and retention of those who have recently registered with the NMC is a crucial focus. This piece of work has revealed some of the vital features required by students engaging with apprenticeship learning models in healthcare. These include protected time for learning, supernumerary status and professional identity (worker and/or learner status). A focus on the learning environment should also consider approaches to mentorship, practice assessment and placement models. Given the interest in this piece of work and others locally and nationally, a South West collaborative programme of evaluation and research offering a view of the long-term effectiveness of the role will be our next step.

Item Type: Monograph (Project Report)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Student experience; Nursing associate programme
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
R Medicine > RT Nursing
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Health and Social Care
Research Priority Areas: Health, Life Sciences, Sport and Wellbeing
Depositing User: Liz Berragan
Date Deposited: 10 Jul 2020 08:12
Last Modified: 27 Jul 2023 14:30

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