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Foundation Degree (FdSc) Nursing Associate

Become a highly trained, vital part of the wider nursing team. This programme is currently subject to validation and NMC approval.

Nurse helping patient

Gain essential practical experience within all four fields of nursing

Upon successful completion of the programme, students will be able to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council as a Nursing Associate.

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Full-time Part-time

Entry requirements

Normally a minimum of three A levels

BTEC National Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma

Pass an Access to HE Diploma with at least 30 credits at merit

Maths & English (or equivalent) grade 4/C

Equivalent qualifications may be considered, including workplace delivered NVQs

We are looking for applicants who are passionate about health care professions and providing person centred care. The University will make reasonable adjustments where possible and appropriate for any candidate who has a disability recognised under the Equality Act, 2010 but we ask that you contact the University in advance to enable us to make adjustments

See full entry requirements

UCAS points UCAS tariff 72 - 120 points

Duration 2 years full time, up to 4 years part time

Course Summary

Nursing associates work with healthcare support workers and registered nurses to provide care and treatment in a wide range of health and care settings. This two-year foundation degree is a flexible, practice-based course, which will enable you to provide high quality, person-centred care across the lifespan. Nursing associates work with healthcare support workers and registered nurses to provide care and treatment in a wide range of health and care settings. This two-year foundation degree is a flexible, practice-based course, which will enable you to provide high quality, person-centred care across the lifespan.

This two-year foundation degree is delivered within a supportive learning environment. It offers perspectives on health, ill health, health promotion and protection, life sciences and nursing practice in a range of settings. It comprises approximately 50% theory and 50% practice, across the required 2300 programme hours. 

The Nursing Associate programme is a flexible, authentic practice learning course aimed to develop competent, confident and compassionate Nursing Associates, providing high quality, safe and responsive person-centred care across the lifespan in diverse care setting. This course includes significant practice (or work-based) learning.

Students will have the opportunity to achieve national proficiencies relating to the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s Standards of Proficiency for Nursing Associates. This will enable them to become an accountable professional, promote health and prevent ill health, provide and monitor care, work as part of a team, improve safety and the quality of care, and contribute to integrated care. 

Why this course at Marjon?

Multiple clinical backgrounds and longevity of experience working within diverse settings

High quality, evidence based teaching, with a person centred ethos

Both theory and practical environments

Strong industrial contacts with NHS and non NHS healthcare settings

A diverse teaching team

Opportunities for shared learning with other health professional students

Modules for this course

1st Year

Higher education and digital skills for health professionals
This non-credit bearing module provides information and techniques for participatory training to prepare students for the underpinning clinical education qualification. It is intended to support students from who may not have undertaken any formal education for some time and/or have no higher education experience with essential skills and tools to undertake a foundation degree qualification within clinical education
Clinical practice 1
This practice-based module will introduce students to the principles and practice of a Nursing Associate. The focus is to provide students with the necessary knowledge to participate in the delivery of care in the specified clinical setting and demonstrate competence against the national occupational standards expected of a Nursing Associate.
Foundations for professional practice
This module will facilitate and enable exploration of the development of nursing knowledge and theory, critical analysis of the relationship between research, theory and practice and the exploration of nursing practice through the use of reflection. The module will facilitate students to progress and strengthen the theoretical knowledge base from which they practice whilst ensuring safe practice and limitation of risk.
Anatomy and physiology
This module aims to develop students’ knowledge of the core principles of human anatomy and physiology and the cellular basis of those systems. Students will develop the link to pathophysiology, focusing on the abnormal functioning of diseased organs resulting from causes of disease and illness, including the acute and long-term progression and functional changes associated with, or resulting from disease and injury.
Diverse perspectives
This module will introduce students to health and illness and the impact it has on individuals and society. This module explores the notions of health and illness in relation to the lifestyles people lead, societal niches and the services and support available to them. From political to socioeconomic and demographic factors, this module emphasises the relationship between how people live their lives and their health.
Therapeutic interventions
This module supports student’s to develop knowledge of the principles of pharmacology and pathophysiology and then apply this within clinical practice to make informed, rational assessments of an individual’s need in health and illness. The module will address the groups of drugs, which affect selected systems and other areas such as antibiotics, and the effects of pharmacological interventions across the lifespan.

2nd Year

Clinical practice 2
This module will enable students to consolidate and transfer their knowledge, skills and attitudes to a variety of clinical practice environments required for the care of service users with more complex needs in a variety of clinical practice environments. Under the supervision of registered nurses they will rehearse and further develop their knowledge, skills and attitudes by providing hands-on care for service users.
Public health
This module will introduce students’ to public health theory and practice. Students will work towards adopting a systematic approach to developing health improvement interventions utilising processes underpinned by public health and health promotion, exploring the methods in which interventions can be planned, managed and evaluated, in order to develop the maximum impact and benefit for organisations and stakeholders.
Professional development
This module builds personal development and lifelong learning skills. Students will explore how to care effectively for themselves whilst caring for others, building personal resilience to cope with workload, emotions and stress. Students will critically reflect on their own practice and feedback received to evaluate their own and the service user's experience, meeting the requirements of the professions regulatory body.
Skills across the life span
This module enables students to explore nursing care of the patient across the lifespan with primarily medical conditions which encompasses the holistic, multidisciplinary, cross boundary approach. The module takes a 'whole systems' approach, encompassing the needs of those at risk of both long term and critical illness, the patient’s needs during the illness, and the needs of those who have recovered from such illness.
Research in evidence based practice
This module enables students to focus on developing their skills as a professional healthcare practitioner to become an effective user of research findings, with a view to the enhancement of quality service outcomes. Students will become familiar with critical appraisal tools and be able to consider the extent of external evidence available and how this can be applied to improve outcomes within professional practice.
End point assessment gateway for Nursing Associate Apprentices (Apprenticeship Route Only – Mandatory)
The Nursing Associate (2018) Apprenticeship standards’ End Point Assessment (EPA) is fully integrated. The EPA will use the assessment arrangements for the FdSc Nursing Associate. As nursing associates are subject to statutory regulation by the NMC, which requires them to set programme requirements that support the achievement of the KSB’s of the occupational standard. This ensures that on successful completion of the programme, nursing associates are eligible to register with the NMC.

Please note: This course is subject to validation which means that it is either a new course or that the content is currently being updated. You can apply for this course now while some of the details of the course are being finalised by the University. Please contact the course leader if you would like further information.

Perfect if you're curious about

Working with people of all ages and in a variety of settings in health and social care

Supporting the nursing leadership in the delivery of high-quality patient-centred care

demonstrating personal growth through affordable career progression by developing new knowledge and embracing wider career opportunities

How to deliver and manage planned care

The disease process and the human life span

Drugs and pharmacology for medicine management

How you’ll be taught and assessed?

How will you be taught?

This programme includes campus-based classes, on the job training, portfolio building and self-directed study. Apprentices will also need to work flexibly in order to keep up with requirements for independent study and research. Students will be taught for 15 hours per week, 1 day per week on campus in lectures, seminars and clinical skills workshops and simulations, and 1 day through guided virtual activity. Students will spend the remaining 22 hours/3 days in clinical practice.

How will you be assessed?

Assessment in both theory and practice is continuous, and is assessed against Nursing and Midwifery Council competencies, where students are required to demonstrate evidence of their achievement.
Assessment is designed to provide students with opportunities to demonstrate their knowledge, essential skills and professional values, attitudes and behaviours across both the academic and practice-learning context, to demonstrate safe and effective practice.
Assessment is planned across the programme, with a specific emphasis on learning and assessment in authentic practice learning environments, enabling nursing associate students to develop the skills needed for future employment as a Nursing Associate and the academic skills of higher education

Course leader

Claire is our Healthcare Education Strategic Advisor, responsible for working closely with the NHS and other health partners to develop our health programmes.

Fees and funding

Fees UK students: £9,250

Fees for International students: £12,500

Our Student Funding Advisors offer confidential and impartial advice about your funding options

Additional costs:

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) enhanced check (Annual Update Service or dated within 6 months of the start of the course) Evidence that an occupational health declaration has been completed prior to starting the programme Evidence of all required vaccinations being up-to-date Travel to and from placement Accommodation and general living costs
Membership of a Union (Optional but advised)
NMC registration on completion of the programme.
There may be some discretionary trips and other activities to support your studies

Frequently asked questions

Q1   Can I specialise in a specific area as a Nursing Associate?

Although the Registered Nursing Associate is highly skilled, their skills are generic in order to support the wider nursing family.

Q2   Do I have to attend multiple placements away from my home?

You will need to ensure that you attend placement across all four fields of nursing, ensuring you can demonstrate experience across the life span. The programme team will arrange the various placements where required but these maybe outside of the immediate locality.

Q3   Do Nursing Associates administer medication?

s part of their training Nursing Associates will be educated to understand medicine management and, within the confines of local employer policies, administer prescribed medicines safely and appropriately. It is essential that Nursing Associates are trained to be competent in the relevant components of this area so that they can make a full contribution to the provision of effective care to the public and patients in primary, acute, secondary, community and social care settings.

Q4   Do I have to be interviewed for a place on the programme?

Yes, you will be invited for an interview with the programme team, leads from placement and also a patient or carer. You will undertake 3 multiple mini interviews which are aligned to the NHS values.

Q5   Are the team looking for anything specific in my personal statement?

Yes. Your personal statement must be aligned to the NHS values and also demonstrate the reasons why you want to be part of the nursing family. There are workshops available, supported by the programme team to help guide you with writing a successful personal statement.

More information

Whilst the Nursing Associate is a new and varied role within the nursing team, it also provides a platform from which to develop further. Students may wish to train in a specialist field of nursing, for example, commencing their studies in Year 2 of a typical three-year degree, to become a qualified nurse. Alternatively, they could progress onto a non-professional BSc (Hons) award. 

Find out more about studying Foundation Degree (FdSc) Nursing Associate at Marjon

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