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Enhance your nursing skills and confidence to meet a wide range of healthcare needs with our Nursing Associate Higher Apprenticeship, offered at the School of Nursing Studies (SoNS), in partnership with the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King's Lynn and Anglia Ruskin University. Study for a nursing associate foundation degree while you work, with no tuition fees.

The School of Nursing Studies (SoNS) is a brand new, state-of-the-art facility, funded by the Borough Council of King's Lynn and West Norfolk and the Town Deal Board.

Frequently asked questions about the Nursing Associate Higher Apprenticeship: 

  • What’s the difference between a registered nurse and a nursing associate?

    The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has summarised its standards of proficiency for both the registered nurse and nursing associate role as shown in the table below.


    (6 platforms)


    (7 platforms)

     Be an accountable professional  Be an accountable professional
     Promoting health and preventing ill health  Promoting health and preventing ill health
     Provide and monitor care  Provide and evaluate care
     Working in teams  Leading and managing nursing care and working in teams
    Improving safety and quality of care Improving safety and quality of care
    Contributing to integrated care Co-ordinating care
       Assessing needs and planning care

  • What does the course entail?

    The foundation degree training programme is usually taken over two years. During this time, the trainees must complete at least 2,300 programme hours, which are divided equally between academic and work-based learning.

    To meet the requirements of the training programme, trainee nursing associates must work in a range of settings and situations to gain as much experience as possible across the four fields of nursing: children, adults, mental health and learning disabilities. This is achieved by the trainees completing placements outside their primary place of employment.

    The full requirements for training and education are set out and regulated by the NMC in its standards for pre-registration nursing associate programmes.

  • What are the entry requirements?

    As a minimum, trainee nursing associates will need GCSEs grade 9 to 4 (A to C) in Maths and English, or Functional Skills Level 2 in Maths and English. They will also need to demonstrate:
    • their ability to study to level 5 foundation degree level
    • the values and behaviours of the NHS Constitution
    • a commitment to completing the programme.

  • What progression opportunities are available to nursing associates?

    Like registered nurses and other healthcare professionals, nursing associates may expand their scope of practice through further education and experience after they have qualified and joined the nursing associate part of the NMC register.
    Nursing associates can also go on to become registered

  • Do nursing associates need to revalidate?

    Yes. Nursing associates will need to renew their registration every three years through the same revalidation process as that applied to nurses and midwives. Employers can support nursing associates to meet the revalidation requirements.

How to apply

Find out more and apply here

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