Join our Trainee Nursing Associate Apprenticeship

On this page you will find more information about the University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust Trainee Nursing Associate Apprenticeship, what it is, what you need to do to apply and links to useful information which can help you decide whether the programme is right for you.

Prefer to speak to someone? Please email our Talent Acquisition Specialist

What is a Nursing Associate?

The role of Nursing Associate bridges the gap between healthcare support workers and registered nurses to deliver hands-on, person-centred care as part of the nursing team. Nursing associates work with people of all ages in a variety of settings in health and social care.

What does the training involve?

You will undertake academic learning one day a week and work-based learning the rest of the week. You’ll be employed in a specific healthcare setting such as an acute, community or mental health hospital, care home or hospice but also gain experience other health and care settings and situations. This will mean travelling to placements and working a mix of shifts.

The course will take 2 years to complete and is delivered in partnership with the University of the West of England or Weston College.

What does a Nursing Associate do?

No day will ever be the same, the role is a challenging but a rewarding one – below is a list of some of the tasks that a trained Nursing Associate will be expected to perform:

  • undertaking clinical tasks including venepuncture and ECGs
  • supporting individuals and their families and carers when faced with unwelcome news and life-changing diagnoses
  • performing and recording clinical observations such as blood pressure, temperature, respirations and pulse
  • discussing and sharing information with registered nurses on a patients’ condition, behaviour, activity and responses
  • ensuring the privacy, dignity and safety of individuals is maintained at all times
  • recognising issues relating to safeguarding vulnerable children and adults

Watch this film to find out more.

What you will need before applying

To begin your training as a nursing associate, you’ll need:

• GCSEs Grade C or above in Maths and English Language / New GCSE Grade 4-9 in Maths and English Language OR Functional Skills Level 2 in Maths and English or Equivalent (not entry level 2)

• Full NVQ Level 3/BTEC or equivalent in any relevant subject.

• Must be employed in a healthcare role.

• You will also need to demonstrate your ability to study to level 5 foundation degree level and commit to completing the Nursing Associate Apprenticeship programme.

• Disclosure and Barring service check, and occupational health confirmation that is dated within the previous 12 months (employer requirement)

If you do not have the qualifications required, you will not be able to apply today, however if you work for the Trust then contact our Education team by emailing – the team will provide you with support and advice on how to gain the qualifications required to apply for a future cohort.

What do trainees and qualified Registered Nursing Associates get paid?

  • As a Trainee Nursing Associate you will be paid a Band 3 salary whilst training
  • Once qualified, a Registered Nursing Associate can expect to be paid a Band 4 salary

For details of pay scales and how much each NHS band pays visit the NHS Employers website.

Career Development Opportunities

The Nursing Associate role is employed across the NHS.

Registered Nursing Associates can go on to train as a registered nurse by putting their training towards a shortened nursing degree or completing a degree-level nursing apprenticeship.

Case Study

I loved the NA role but wanted to push myself further. The TNA programme was everything I expected and more, it’s a foundation degree and whilst it has been tough at times, with the level of learning we have to do, it gives me confidence that I am well prepared to become a registered professional. I enjoyed the transition to TNA as we have clinic and day case, it has been really good to be experience both sides, especially the continuity and building a rapport with patients, which is what it is all about! Everyone has been so supportive, giving me opportunities to do things to develop and showing me new practices. Anyone thinking of doing the TNA should ‘go for it’ especially if you have been doing the NA role for a while and you are looking to develop professionally and personally.

My top tip? Do your research, find out exactly what is involved and what you need to be a successful candidate. It’s a really good opportunity to show what you are capable of and to enhance your skills and career development.

Asma Habib, Trainee Nursing Associate


Top tips for applying to be a TNA 


The application forms are a bit lengthy, but unfortunately they need to be. We care for vulnerable and ill patients and safeguarding them as well as our staff is extremely important to us so a full work history, qualifications, DBS and complete application is very important.

How good a match are you?

All employers will be judging how well your application matches the ‘person specification’, particularly the essential criteria for the position you are applying for. The applicants who closely match the person specification will be the ones that are shortlisted for interview. Perhaps think about this when structuring your supporting information and referring to experience.

Give quality examples.

To stand the best chance of being successful, clearly demonstrate that you do have the skills and experience as stipulated within the person specification and provide clear quality examples within the supporting information section. Don’t forget this is your moment to show why you are the right person for the post and how enthusiastic you are.

Never submit the same application form twice.

Always adapt it to show how you meet the person specification of the particular post you are applying for, particularly in your supporting information.

First impressions count, don’t assume you will get an interview.

Quality check your application. Incorrect spelling, badly structured sentences and long answers which don’t make a clear point is not going to result in a quality application. Many of our vacancies receive a lot of applications and the selection process is highly competitive so make your application stand out for all the right reasons.

Application Process

Online Application

Applications for our next cohort are now open for Weston (closing date 23rd January):

If you are interested in becoming a TNA in the future, speak to your manager, contact your divisional nurse recruitment leads or look out for posters for upcoming drop-in sessions. This website is kept up to date.

Assessment Centre

If successful at application stage, we plan to deliver an assessment centre.

Similar to an interview, you will join a group of other applicants, to perform tasks and activities that test your suitability for the job. You will also be tested on your understanding of the role, our values and behaviours.

Final interview

A small number of candidates who are successful in the assessment centre testing, will be invited for a final interview in the afternoon.

Starting date

The start date for the programme aligns with UWE and Weston College course start dates.