Jul 21

Recognising and supporting the role of registered nursing associates in social care

Posted: 15 July 2021

 Nurse for Adult Social Care Deborah Sturdy shares with us her insights on the importance of recognising and supporting the recently introduced role of registered nursing associate.

It’s been a proud moment in the social care nursing sector as we launch our ‘An employer’s guide to the deployment of qualified registered nursing associates in social care settings’ guide and celebrate one of our nursing associates receiving a CNO award which aims to celebrate the work of nurses and nursing associates working in the sector and give them the acknowledgement and appreciation that they deserve.  Both these events mark a great step in embedding and recognising the nursing associate role as a key part of our sector.

I hope that the ‘Employer’s guide to the deployment of qualified registered nursing associates in social care settings’provides vital information to not only nursing associates currently working in the sector, but inspires others to progress in their careers by becoming a nursing associate. The deployment paper highlights the impact of having nursing associates working in an organisation and the value, support and knowledge they can contribute in a team.

The Chief Nurse Adult Social Care Awards (CNO) awards aim to recognise individuals that have gone above and beyond in their role to deliver excellent care while also supporting their colleagues. The COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges of the last 18 months have highlighted more than ever the daily challenges those working in social care face and when I was appointed as Chief Nurse for Adult Social Care I wanted to ensure that the sector and those who make it such a special and inspiring sector to work in are recognised and appreciated. 

Nursing associates were introduced to the sector to bridge the gap between the health and care assistant and nurse. Since their introduction in 2017, nursing associates have established themselves as a vital role in the setting. Although a standalone role, nursing associates can work independently within the setting allowing for the registered nurses to focus on more complex clinical care. Nursing associates also can progress in their career and continue their training to become a registered nurse.

Recently I was able to give a Chief Nurse Award to Emily Burton, she is the first ever registered nursing associate to receive a CNO award. Emily was nominated by her employers at Stewton House in Louth. She received the award as recognition of her hard work and her place as a positive role model, mentor, and inspiration to her team.

It’s great to see nursing associates getting the attention and recognition they deserve. The role is still new but gives us hope and creates further opportunities to attract talented, caring individuals who can be fantastic nursing associates and have the potential to progress into being the registered nurses and leaders of the future.   

Follow the work that Skills for Care and the Department of Health and Social Care are doing around social care nursing and join the discussion using #WeAreSocialCareNurses.