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.
Join our TNA Programme for October 2023!
If you are passionate about learning, developing your clinical nursing skills and the underpinning knowledge to deliver excellent patient care then you could be one of our next Registered Nursing Associates (RNA). The role of RNA is to essentially bridge the gap between the roles of the health care support worker and the registered nurses. The course itself is full time hours over a fixed 2-year term on a band 3.
What is a Trainee Nursing Associate?
Trainee Nursing Associate’s is a role that has recently been added within the NHS nursing workforce. Trainee Nursing Associate’s work within multi-disciplinary teams in a variety of health care settings. They deliver hands-on, person-centred care with a holistic approach to ensure outstanding patient care.
The Trainee Nursing Associate Apprenticeship is a Level 5 course. It is a two-year course where you will undertake 20% protected academic learning, 60% work-based learning and 20% external placement opportunities. On completion you will graduate with a foundation degree in nursing. The academic and clinical aspects of this course are demanding. You should expect to devote a considerable amount of your free time in order to successfully complete the course.
As UHBW is an acute healthcare provider, you will be deployed into a specific healthcare setting within the sectors of Adult or Children Nursing, Outpatients Departments and Specialised Services including Critical Care.
When qualified, your qualification will be recognised by the Nursing & Midwifery Council which will enable gain for your pin registration and apply for a Band 4 RNA post.
The role of a TNA
No day will ever be the same, the role is a challenging but a rewarding one –
TNAs are expected to gather evidence on their skills and competencies to develop a portfolio for their proficiencies and professional values such as:
- Undertaking clinical tasks including Venepuncture and Cannulation.
- Complete their Medicine Management assessment.
- Supporting individuals and their families and carers when faced with unwelcome news and life-changing diagnoses.
- Escalation of a patient’s condition(s) including deteriorating patients: recognition & management (Pulse oximetry, Temperature, BP (including manual BP) O2 Saturations, Respiratory rate, basic cardiac monitoring) NEWS 2/PEWS discussing and sharing information with registered nurses on a patients’ condition, behaviour, activity and responses.
- Monitoring and escalation of pain using appropriate pain assessment tools (excluding complex analgesic techniques).
- Ensuring the privacy, dignity and safety of individuals is maintained at all times.
- Recognising and escalating issues relating to safeguarding vulnerable children and adults.
You’ll develop an understanding of all elements of nursing and caring for individuals with conditions such as dementia, mental health illnesses and learning disabilities/difficulties.
It is very important to plan and manage the competing demands of your job role, study and placements.
What you will need before applying
To begin your Trainee Nursing Associate Apprenticeship, you will 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.
- Employed as a HCA or CSW for at least 6 months and who has demonstrated competence in the delivery of fundamental nursing care at band 2 or 3
- 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 on a full time position.
- Disclosure and Barring service check, and occupational health confirmation that is dated within the previous 12 months.
If you do not have the qualifications required, you will not be able to apply today, however if you work for the Trust then speak to your line manager for development support. To contact our Apprenticeships and Widening Engagement Team e-mail Apprenticeships@uhbw.nhs.uk – the team will provide you with support and advice on how to gain the qualifications required to apply for a future cohort.
Career Development Opportunities
Once you’ve successfully finished your training, you’ll have the knowledge, understanding, skills to register with Nursing and Midwifery Council and apply for your “PIN”. In order to consolidates your learning and complete a preceptorship programme.
UHBW has a range of career opportunities for RNA’s across a range of nursing specialities. Working as a registered nursing professional alongside your colleagues you will make a real difference to patients in our care. There are roles available on our surgical, medical and wards, within critical care and ED, as well as specialist departments such as Cath Labs. There will also be a range of opportunities in the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, As you progress with your career, you may wish to transfer to different nursing areas within the trust
It is possible to progress to as a registered Nurse by putting you training towards a shortened nursing degree or registered nurse degree apprenticeship (RNDA).
Your Nursing Associate training will shorten a Registered Nurse Degree Apprenticeship to 2 years.
To find out more about the apprenticeship route, including how to apply, speak with your line manager, education team or apprenticeship lead.
What will I be paid as a Trainee Nursing Associate?
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.
Case Study – Asma Habib TNA
I loved the Healthcare Support Worker 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 when applying for a TNA Role
The TNA role is a fantastic opportunity to progress to a registered nursing role; however you should not underestimate the work and commitment required. As a TNA you will effectively be working in a full time role and completing a foundation degree in nursing within two years. If you are interested in becoming a TNA now or in the future, speak to your manager, contact your divisional nurse recruitment leads for further information.
This section should give you some useful hints and tips on completing the application form to give you the best chance of getting an invite to the assessment centre.
Completing the TRAC application from
To apply for a TNA role you will need to complete a TRAC application form as instructed in the advert. The application form is lengthy, but you need to make sure you spend time to complete it with as much information as possible.
The TNA recruitment process is competitive with high numbers of applicants and the selection process is anonymous. The shortlister does not see your personal details so it is important that you provide all the relevant details in the application form.
First impressions count, don’t assume you will get an interview.
The application form is the first stage of the application process and will help us understand you, your current skill set and your academic achievements. As a potential TNA apprentice it is important to remember that you will be studying for a foundation degree in nursing.
Completing the following sections on the TRAC application form will ensure that we get the information we need to understand your suitability for the role. Please pay particular attention to the following sections of the form:
- Education & Professional Qualifications
You should provide a complete list of all of your qualifications. So as proceed to shortlisting it is essential that have the required qualifications, full details of the essential qualifications are on the Person Specification.
- Relevant Training Courses Attended
As an experienced and competent healthcare support worker you should have attended a number of training courses. Please list these courses, to provide evidence of your competency within your current role and continuing professional development.
- Current/most recent employer & Previous employer
To ensure we get all the information we need and to understand your suitability for the role you will need to provide a full work history. This should include your current employer, the types of patients you have looked after and any additional initiatives or projects you may have been involved in the clinical area.
You may have worked in non-clinical roles in the past, and it is important that you also include these roles. There are many skills, gained in a previous role that are transferable to a healthcare setting, be sure to state them in your application form.
- Supporting Information
This section is essential, and an ideal opportunity for you to explain why you are an ideal candidate for the tNA role. Before completing this section it is really important that you have read the Job Description (JD) and Person Specification (PS) in detail.
Your application is scored based on quality and detail you provide to match the requirements stated in the JD & PS. Most importantly you should demonstrate a good understand of the tNA role and that of the Registered Nursing Associate.
We will also be using this section to assess your communication skills, and you should take time to complete this section in a well thought out, detailed and concise manner.
Once you have completed your application make sure you check it thoroughly. Incorrect spelling, badly structured sentences and lack of relevant detail is not going to result in a quality application. Make sure that your application is not too long; don’t include information that is irrelevant or repetitive.
Your application form will be forwarded for shortlisting when the advert closes. All personal information is removed and each application is identified by a unique number. The shortlister evaluates each application, using scoring a criteria which is based on the Person Specification. If there are large number of applicants this process may take a week or two to complete.
Applications must achieve a minimum score to be invited to the assessment the day and interview. Candidates will be informed of the outcome via the TRAC e-mail system.
Successful candidates will be required to provide evidence of their academic qualifications, please ensure that you have the original certificates.
Shortlisted candidates will be invited to full day assessment centre as detailed in the job advert. This day will include a mix group based activities and a formal interview by panel. The day is run in collaboration with the education provider responsible for the academic aspect of the apprenticeship.
Our Applications are open for our October 2023 Trainee Nursing Associate Cohort!
Click here to apply for the TNA Programme!
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.
A small number of candidates who are successful in the assessment centre testing, will be invited for a final interview in the afternoon.
The start date for the programme aligns with UWE and Weston College course start dates.
TNA Frequently Asked Questions
What Band will I get paid as a Trainee Nursing Associate?
The Nursing Associate apprenticeship is a minimum of a 2 year programme and you will be paid a
Band 3 throughout the apprenticeship.
Can I choose which University I attend?
No, you will be allocated a University. Each University has been partnered with each Health Care
Organisation. Our partners are University of the West of England (UWE) and University College Weston (UCW)
Who will pay for the cost of my training?
Your University fees for the programme will be paid via the apprenticeship levy.
I haven’t studied for a long time, what level of study skills support will I receive from the university?
TNAs will be provided with support throughout their studies. This will include a Clinical Educator/
Personal Tutor who will be able to support you throughout the programme. The Universities also
have comprehensive wellbeing services to support you.
How much time will I be at university and will I go on placements?
Clinical placements will include community or paediatric
settings in order to gain a broad nursing knowledge. The
clinical placements are likely to be in week blocks,
though this is currently under review by the Trust.
It is essential that you can be flexible with regard to shifts
in order to fit in with the requirements of the different
placements you will be required to complete
How will I be supported during clinical placements?
You will be supported in Practice by a Practice Assessor and Practice Supervisors as well the line
manager on your host ward. Jenny Steele is the Learning Education Facilitator (LEF) at UHBW who will
be able to offer support to the TNA’s, managers and assessors.
When will I be able to take my holidays?
Holiday requests should be arranged with your line manager as normal but should take into account
University days and clinical placements. There is some flexibility.
How many hours of study will I be expected to undertake in my own time?
You will be expected to spend a proportion of your time outside of your rostered working hours and
attending the university to undertake additional study to support the achievement of your learning
outcomes. This would normally require an additional 5-15 hours of study per week although this will
vary from person to person. You will be expected to prioritise and manage your own workload to
meet the demands of academic study.
What happens after I qualify at the end of the programme?
You will be eligible to apply for Registered Nursing Associate jobs after you have received your
NMC registration which will be at Band 4 (Agenda for Change)
Will the Nursing Associate role be regulated?
Yes the Nursing Associate role will be regulated by the NMC
Can I use a Nursing Associate qualification to access pre-registration nurse training?
Yes. As a Registered Nursing Associate your Foundation Degree apprenticeship can be used towards
pre-registration Nurse training