Trainee Nursing Associates

The Trainee Nursing Associates (TNA) role was introduced to support the Registered Nursing workforce in providing person-centred care across health and social care settings.

TNA’s work alongside the multi-disciplinary team gaining knowledge and skills to enable them to identify any social/personal needs required. The role bridges the gap between a support worker and a Registered Nurse, providing a workforce for future healthcare.

The training is a minimum of 2 years leading to a Foundation Degree Apprenticeship as a Nursing Associate. It is a training programme that combines both academic and work-based learning in the physical, psychological and public health aspects of care from pre-conception to end of life

The Trainee Nursing Associate (TNA) apprenticeship is advertised every 6 months for the March and September University intakes. Applications can be made through either NHS jobs or the internal vacancy system.  

The University component is provided through the University of Salford.

Qualifications Required

To begin your training as a nursing associate, you’ll need GCSEs grade 9 to 4 (A to C) in maths and English, or Functional Skills Level 2 in maths and English.

TNA Readiness Sessions

TNA readiness sessions are run throughout the year to provide you with some guidance around how to complete the application form and interview techniques. 

In these sessions you will learn about:

  • The role of the TNA
  • How to apply for the role
  • Tips on how to write a good personal statement
  • Interview tips and guidance

For more details on these sessions and for dates they are due to take place, please email

You will undertake academic learning one day a week and work-based learning the rest of the week. You'll be employed in a healthcare setting such as:

  • Adult Care (surgery, medicine, specialist medicine)
  • Mental Health
  • Paediatrics 
  • Learning Disability
  • Close to home (day surgery, GP clinics, outpatients, distruct nursing clinics)
  • At home (residential care, distict nursing)

You will be paid at Agenda for Change Band 3 throughout your training.


Protected Learning Time - Practice (PLT-p) is time in the trainees own place of work which will be identified as full shifts, during which the trainees can be counted in the staff numbers.  On these PLT-P shifts, the TNAs will have a clearly identified Practice Supervisor/Practice Assessor, with whom they will identify appropriate learning goal/s for that shift.  The Practice Supervisor/Practice Assessor will facilitate opportunities to achieve that goal and will provide feedback prior to the end of the shift. Evidence of the learning must be recorded by the TNA and signed by the Practice Supervisor/Practice Assessor.

Protected Learning Time – Theory (PLT-t) are hours achieved external to the allocated placement, where trainees will be supernumerary. These will be rostered in advance in consultation with the Practice Supervisor/Practice Assessor. These organised rostered activities should not be cancelled due to staffing shortages unless patient care is compromised.

The NCA want to open doors and provide opportunities for people to become Trainee Nursing Associates within the organisation. The TNA’s bridge the gap between HCA’s and Registered Nurses, once qualified the Nursing Associates do not replace or substitute a Nurse, but instead they complement the Nurses enabling them to work on more complex units of their roles.

The Ambassador role will be about promoting the TNA/NA role, ensuring that the wards are up to date with changes to the programme etc. and also supporting the TNA’s out in practice as a practice supervisor/assessor

The TNA team will run some study days on a quarterly basis and the Ambassadors will be invited to attend these. We would love to have some Registered Nurses and Nursing Associates from the clinical areas taking up this role as Ambassador and take on this role in supporting the TNA’s in practice. They have this valuable lived experience and can support and sign post the TNA’s on their journey well, having been on this road themselves.

If you are a Registered Nurse and want to add this string to your bow or a ward manager that has a member of staff you know would thrive in this role and wants to support others on their journey – please contact

TNA Staff Contact Details

To contact the TNA Team, email

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