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FdSc - Nursing Associate

Would you like to become a nursing associate? Our course provides specialist training and support for you to become a nursing associate registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) in two years.

As a nursing associate, you'll play a vital role in the nursing team working across all four areas of nursing: adult, children's, learning disabilities, and mental health nursing. Working closely with healthcare assistants and registered nurses, you'll care for people across the lifespan in a range of settings, from the home to community and inpatient settings.

At the end of this course, you'll be eligible to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and practise as a nursing associate. You'll also be able to complete further training through a top-up course or degree apprenticeship to qualify as a nurse.

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Accredited by:

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Nursing & Midwifery Council

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Course Overview

The programme is studied over 2 years, and you will attend study and placements during the weeks specified on the programme planner. This will be made available to you on commencement of the course.

Equal value is placed on theory and practice for the duration of the FdSc Nursing Associate programme, so 50% of your time on this course will be spent on placement covering all areas of nursing practice (adult, children's, mental health and learning disability) in the NHS and private, voluntary and independent sectors. Placement settings will include hospitals, nursing homes, GP surgeries, clinics, and more.

Throughout the length of the course, you will be introduced to essential knowledge that a nursing associate is required to understand to enable the delivery of effective person-centred care, including the ability to research and study independently and work with student colleagues.

The University of Cumbria has excellent clinical skills and simulation facilities including simulated ward areas, high dependency care areas, home spaces and a dedicated ‘immersive simulation room’ enabling experience of ‘real life’ scenarios.

On this course you will...

  • Develop and accomplish the knowledge and skills you need to practise and provide evidenced-based and compassionate care as a registered nursing associate.
  • Learn and work alongside all fields of nursing and the multi-disciplinary team whilst on placement, and recognise the contribution of different health professionals' roles and expertise.
  • Develop skills through a range of nursing placements that will be a mixture of hospital and community settings, and through skills teaching and simulated practice.
  • Prepare you to deliver a wide range of clinical, care and interpersonal skills underpinned by a systematic knowledge base.

Course Structure

What you will learn

You will spend 50% of the programme on clinical placement being supervised and assessed by practice staff. The theoretical input is delivered by expert teaching staff and is based on the latest evidence and research, using a variety of teaching and learning approaches.

The programme will equip you to deliver safe and effective care to the highest standards and ensure you practice with compassion and confidence. You will be taught to deliver a wide range of clinical, care and interpersonal skills underpinned by a systematic knowledge base in diverse settings and with different patient groups.

Year one

The first year of the FdSc Nursing Associate is designed to introduce you to the concepts that underpin nursing associate practice. There are 6 academic modules this year in total, of equal academic weighting of 20 credits. The aim is to introduce you to the concept of holistic healthcare and the importance of effective communication skills, professional and ethical practice, introduction to evidence led care and health and social care policy. The biological sciences module will be supported with practical clinical skills sessions in the simulated ward environment. You will also study principles of nursing practice applied to Nursing Associates. There are two Placement allocations in year one and these are assessed against the NMC proficiencies, and it is mandatory that both these placements are achieved.

  • Applied Biological Sciences for Health
    Learn essential knowledge of the fundamental concepts of anatomy and physiology relating to human body systems and applied to clinical practice and decision making.
  • Professional Practice & Accountability
    Explore the legal, ethical and professional concepts which inform the complexities of decision making in health & social care practice.
  • Developing Evidence-Based Practice
    Develop skills in critical evaluation of the evidence base that informs practice.
  • Introduction to Communication & Interpersonal Skills
    Learn a variety of communication, interpersonal and self-awareness skills required to provide culturally appropriate and compassionate nursing care.
  • Concepts of Health & Social Policy
    Explore perspectives of biological, psychological, social, cultural, spiritual and behavioural determinants of health and promote person centred wellbeing across the lifespan.
  • Introduction to Nursing Associate Practice
    Gain knowledge and understanding of the fundamental principles that inform Nursing Associate Practice.
Year two

The second year of the programme has 6 academic modules of 20 credits each with 2 practice placements. Year two is designed to support your development of knowledge and skills that were delivered in year one. Within this year of study, you will examine principles of pharmacology and medicine management, care of people with long term conditions and chronic health care needs, understanding care needs and the nursing associate as leader. Development of communication skills are threaded throughout the curriculum and the year 2 module introduces the utilisation of therapeutic communication. Empathy towards patients and families is essential and the ‘lived experience module’ provides an insight into how individuals and families experience illness and healthcare.

  • Pharmacology and Medicine Therapeutics
    Learn to understand and apply the principles of pharmacology and medicine therapeutics in the management of care.
  • Living with Long Term Conditions Across the Lifespan
    Develop an underpinning knowledge relating to the causes, presentation and management of long-term conditions across the lifespan.
  • Learning from the Lived Experience
    An opportunity for the analysis and formulation of contextual knowledge through problem-based learning and reflection using narratives of individuals accessing health and social care.
  • Communication and Relationship Management in a Therapeutic Context
    Learn to recognise, select and utilise appropriate communication strategies and therapeutic skills.
  • Understanding Care Needs
    Develop knowledge, skills and understanding of the holistic assessment and management of the patient.
  • The Nursing Associate as Leader
    Develop knowledge, skills and understanding of managing others and leading teams.

Attend an Open Day at Cumbria

An Open Day is your opportunity to explore one of 5 campuses, meet your lecturers, and find out how the University of Cumbria could become your new home.

Take the next step towards achieving your dreams.
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