First cohort of Trainee Nursing Associates celebrate completing foundation degree

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A pilot programme for those wishing to become nurses has seen 27 trainees successfully complete a Nursing Associate Foundation Degree through Petroc College.

The Trainee Nursing Associates (TNAs) in the North of Devon programme is a collaboration between Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust, Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust and Petroc and is a new role that is designed to bridge the gap between health and care support workers, who have a care certificate, and graduate registered nurses. It offers an opportunity for health care assistants to progress into nursing roles.

The group of trainees demonstrated high levels of commitment and dedication during their programme of study and have successfully achieved the knowledge, behaviours and skills set down by Health Education England in the Nursing Associate Curriculum Framework.

Programme Manager Shaun Kershaw highly praised the group and commented: “The group has been a joy to teach, each and every one of the TNAs have demonstrated resilience, professionalism and a high level of accountability in terms of working hard, building extremely positive relationships and excelling in their critical thinking and professional practice.

“The calibre of our Trainee Nursing Associates is not only credit to the organisations that they work for but also the personal qualities and values that they hold, themselves as individuals and the nursing profession they represent – they will make a massive difference to the lives of those patients they care for and the wider communities which they serve.”

The collaborative nature of the programme delivery was also praised by Shaun Kershaw who is the Head of Petroc’s Health and Care Academy. Shaun said: “The way in which three organisations worked collaboratively in partnership together was the strength of this programme of study. Claudia Trick from RD&E, Carly Huish from NDHT and all the mentors from both organisations were an absolute pleasure to work with and, all in all, when organisations with common goals work in such a way the results are incredible. A legacy of positive change to the nursing profession and the patients whom they serve will undoubtedly be the result.”

Many of the trainees have now progressed onto their nurse training with the University of Plymouth.