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Nursing associate

Nursing associates care for sick people of all ages in hospital and in the community, working closely with registered nurses.

Annual Salary

£18,813 to £23,761

Average UK salary in 2019 was £30,378
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

37.5 to 40 a week

You could work: evenings / weekends; on shifts

Future employment

There will be 6% more Nursing associate jobs in 2026.
In your local area

Day to day tasks

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • setting up drips and taking blood samples
  • monitoring equipment like electrocardiograms (ECGs)
  • recording data, for instance temperature and blood pressure
  • cleaning and dressing wounds
  • giving injections and certain medications
  • sharing information about patients’ progress with registered nurses
  • supporting patients and their families
  • caring for patients with mental health or learning disabilities
  • maintaining hygiene standards and managing infection risks
  • updating patient and work records

Working environment

You may need to wear a uniform.

You could work in an NHS or private hospital, at a hospice or in the community.

Your working environment may be physically and emotionally demanding.

You can get into this job through:

  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role

You can do a nursing associate higher apprenticeship. This takes 2 years to complete and combines study with training on the job.

Entry requirements

To do this apprenticeship, you'll need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths
For more information

You could start as a healthcare assistant or care worker in a hospital or community care setting. Once you have some experience, you could apply for a place on the nursing associate higher apprenticeship and train on the job.

Volunteering and work experience

You'll find it useful to get some paid or voluntary experience in a healthcare setting or personal care role. This will help when you apply for jobs.

You could contact the voluntary services co-ordinator at your local NHS trust for advice about opportunities.

Requirements and restrictions

You'll need to:

More information

Further information

You can find out more about how to become a nursing associate from Health Careers.

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You can train to become a registered nurse by completing a shortened nursing degree or a nursing degree apprenticeship.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • a desire to help people
  • knowledge of psychology
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work well with others
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • customer service skills
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
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