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Helping to bridge the nursing gap – training nursing associates in Norfolk

The OU is part of an exciting new partnership to deliver further improvements to the care people in Norfolk and Waveney, while helping increase capacity within the NHS and social care workforce.

The Trainee Nursing Associate (TNA) programme is part of the Norfolk and Waveney Sustainability and Transformation Partnership – an innovative scheme to further improve the quality of care received by people in the region, and to help tackle the NHS’s widely-reported nursing shortage.

The Partnership aims to train over 70 Nursing Associates over the next two years. TNA’s are a new role designed to help bridge the gap between healthcare assistants and registered nurses.

The role, which was introduced by Health Education England, provides an opportunity for health and care workers to undergo further training to help them progress into a nursing role, whilst also providing a much-needed higher level of care and expertise within the nursing team. The role will be regulated by the NMC (Nursing and Midwifery Council) and on qualifying as Nursing Associates they will be registered with the NMC.

The OU is one of several organisations taking part, and will be responsible for training seven of the TNA’s based at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn. Nursing staff tutor in the OU’s School of Health, Wellbeing and Social Care, Louise Reeds, will be looking after the trainees, she said:

“We had already been working with The Queen Elizabeth Hospital as they have a small cohort of OU student nurses just about to qualify, therefore it was great news to become a partner with QEH and the other healthcare providers and HEI in Norfolk to deliver Nursing Associate apprenticeships. Good relationships with the employers and the OU tried and tested model of online and distance learning in nursing facilitates flexibility around practice and theory learning for the TNAs as well as for the employers. This makes the OU a great option for employers to develop their own workforce and employees to earn as they learn and progress.”

Amanda Small, the Head of Education and Development at QEH, said:

“The new TNA programme is a fantastic opportunity for us as it means that we can both develop our staff, and further improve on the quality of care that we offer our patients. Working with the OU is ideal as it means that our trainees can stay local and can fit their studies around both their work and personal lives.”

To find out more about the QEH TNAs studying with the OU please read Passionate about caring for people – Meet our new Trainee Nursing Associates

About Author

Hannah is part of the Media Relations Team at The Open University, working with the Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies. With experience both agency and in-house, Hannah has worked on campaigns for a number of large corporate companies and brands, including RBS, NatWest, Travelodge, Audible, AA and the Royal Academy of Dance. She has completed a Masters in Publishing Studies from Oxford Brookes, and enjoys photography, reading and going to the theatre and to see live music in her spare time.

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