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Nursing Associate Apprenticeship - Level 5

Kickstart your career

You will receive a Level 5 Foundation Degree

Healthcare ready

There are a variety of assessments within the course to meet the outcomes required of a Nursing Associate

Learn from experts

Benefit from the real-world expertise of our academics and healthcare colleagues.

Stoke-on-Trent campus, Centre for Health Innovation Stafford
Typical duration for this apprenticeship is 2 years.
Start date(s):

Typical start dates are September and or March dependent on the delivery site. 

Enquire now

This 2-year apprenticeship has been developed by Staffordshire University to cater for the new role of Nursing Associate which was put in place to help ensure continued high-quality care within the health environment.

The apprenticeship recognises, develops and maximises the talents of staff, building on these to produce highly trained Nursing Associates that are job-ready and meet the standards for registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Who is it for?

The Nursing Associate is a new role created in response to political initiatives to continually improve the way care is delivered. The training is primarily aimed at staff that that are currently providing care to patients and their relatives across the NHS and want to progress and become better equipped to deliver high quality care.

On successful completion of study, we will issue the following award: Level 5 Foundation Degree

Course content

In collaboration and agreement with partner organisations, the structure and delivery time will reflect the apprenticeship standard requirements and the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) Standards for pre-registration nursing associate programmes.  The course will be delivered over 2 years with 12 months duration for each level of study (level 4 and 5).  The programme length in total is 2,300 hours and this provides an equal balance of theory and practice learning.  These hours are those which are protected for learning, in theory and practice. Any hours which are not protected for learning, in which you are in effect working in your substantive place of work, do not count towards programme hours

Work Based/Placement learning:

Trainee Nursing Associates are not required to have placements in each field of nursing. You will however, benefit from placement learning opportunities that will allow you to develop and meet the Standards of proficiency for nursing associates to deliver safe and effective care, to a diverse range of people, across the lifespan and in a variety of settings.  These placements will expose you to children and adults, and patients/service users with mental health conditions and learning disabilities. Through learning in external placements, you will gain an understanding of the most significant factors to be aware of when providing care to different types of service user.


The programme is made up as follows:

Year 1 Modules:

  • Mental health and physical health through the lifespan
  • Professional, legal and ethical considerations for Nursing Associates
  • Care across the lifespan
  • Nursing Associates in Practice 1, 2, 3

Year 2 Modules:

  • Altered mental health and physical health through the lifespan
  • Human factors, risk, decision making and uncertainty
  • Medicines, their management and application
  • Nursing Associates in Practice 4, 5, 6

End-point Assessment must be completed within 3 months following the completion of all course modules.

Entry requirements

The entry requirements for the course are normally:

  • Literacy and numeracy at Level 2

To be eligible for entry onto this course each candidate must:

  • Have the support of their employer to participate in the course
  • Be in employment with a sponsoring health or social care employer, for instance a NHS Trust (working a minimum of 37.5 hours per week)
  • Have satisfactory good health and character as evidenced by relevant occupational health screening and enhanced DBS clearance


Funding band up to £15,000

Delivery and assessment


This is a vocational course that allows you to learn whilst you earn. You will remain an employee and attend university, usually for one or two days per week to build upon your, ‘on the job’ experience and learn about the theory that underpins your practice. You will also be given protected learning time in external practice placements, enabling you to develop the breadth of experience required for this generic role. You will spend 20% of the total programme time in these external placement areas over the course of your apprenticeship.


You will be assessed using a range of methods during your time as an apprentice, it is not just through writing assignments. The academic element is modular.  This will mean you will be required to produce some written work but in recognition of the varied learning styles of adult learners and the outcomes required of a Nursing Associate, there are a variety of assessments within the course.

These include:

  • Observed practice
  • Oral presentations
  • Written assignments/essays
  • Reflective essays
  • Critical appraisal of own experience
  • Written examinations
  • Multiple choice question (MCQ) and Short answer question (SAQ) examinations
  • Numeracy examination
  • Assessment of practice learning - designed to reflect assessment of your development and indicate progression against the standards
  • Viva Voce


The practical element will be overseen by supervisors and assessors from the clinical area.  These individuals will facilitate learning, guide, support, and assess the apprentice and monitor your progress within the clinical component of the course.

You will also have an academic assessor.  These will liaise with the practice setting and be involved in monitoring your academic progression.

Learning support

In addition to the excellent support you will receive from your course teaching team, our central Academic Skills team provides group and one-to-one help to support your learning in a number of areas. These include study skills (including reading, note-taking and presentation skills); written English (including punctuation and grammatical accuracy); academic writing (including how to reference); research skills; critical thinking and understanding arguments; and revision, assessment and examination skills (including time management).

Additional support

Our AccessAbility Services support students with additional needs such as sensory impairment or learning difficulties. You will also have full access to our support services such as Student Guidance.


Examination feedback may take a variety of formats. However, as a minimum, generic feedback will be made available to all students who take written examinations.

  • The employer must not ask the apprentice to contribute financially to the direct cost of learning
  • Ensure apprentice spends at least 20% of their time in off-the-job training
  • Enter into a contract with Staffordshire University
  • Participate in reviews with the apprentice and university, providing evidence and feedback on progress at work and success in meeting apprenticeship milestones
  • Provide a safe, healthy and supportive environment, which meets the needs of the apprentice
  • Provide apprentices with a contract of employment for the duration of the apprenticeship on the first day of their apprenticeship and be paid at least a wage consistent with the law for both the time they are in work and in off-the-job learning
  • Provide the apprentice with paid time to attend off-the-job training, including additional support for English and Maths, or support accessed for learning difficulties and/or disabilities
  • Recognise that the apprentice must complete the apprenticeship within their working hours
  • Support the apprentice to gain new skills


Typical job titles include nursing associate. Nursing associate is a protected title and may only be used by someone on the Nursing and Midwifery Council register.

To join a higher degree apprenticeship programme, enquire with us today.