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About the course

The nursing associate apprenticeship has been developed to create a new role in health and social care. These highly trained individuals will deliver effective, safe and responsive nursing care in and across a wide range of health and social care settings.

The nursing associate apprenticeship is an opportunity for current health and social care staff to develop their skills and knowledge and further their responsibilities within a healthcare environment. You’ll develop a wide range of clinical skills, including health promotion and preventing ill health, monitoring care, teamwork, improving safety and quality of care and contributing to integrated care to become an accountable practitioner in your own right working alongside registered nurses and other healthcare professionals.

We currently offer the Nursing Associate pathway aligned to the Institute for Apprenticeships standard

The apprenticeship has been developed alongside our partner NHS Trusts and local care providers. The course draws on considerable expertise to deliver a sector-specific curriculum including pathways into various areas of nursing.

Your work-based training will be supplemented by external placement experiences, such as caring for people in their homes, community settings and acute hospital environments. Upon successful completion, you’ll achieve a foundation degree in health and social care practice and be able to join the NMC register as a qualified nursing associate.

Find out more about apprenticeships at Solent

This course has access to Solent's specialist facilities.
Specialist facilities
You can apply direct to Solent University for this course.
Apply direct
After successfully completing your studies, there's an opportunity to continue your studies at Solent.
Further studies
This course is an apprenticeship, which is a course that is a blend of study and work. All apprentices must be in employment.

Solent University is a Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) approved higher education institution

What does this course lead to?

This is a new and exciting role to support the nursing family, with future opportunities to progress to become a Registered Nurse for those who have the aspiration and ability to do so. Once qualified, nursing associates will be able to work in a range of settings within the healthcare environment.

Who is this course for?

This apprenticeship is suitable for those already working in a healthcare setting who feel they have the qualities and philosophy required to become a caring, effective, professional and safe practitioner. Trainee nursing associate apprentices should demonstrate the following values:

  • Caring personality
  • Compassionate towards patients and families
  • Competent and safe in practice
  • Effective communication
  • Courageous
  • Committed to the highest standards of professionalism and nursing care.

Facts and figures

Fees icon

Fees and costs

Tuition fees

Businesses with an annual payroll above £3million will be classed as a levy paying employer and will be able to use funds accrued in their digital apprenticeship service (DAS) account for payment of the training.  Please contact us for guidance on fees if you are a non-levy employer which will cover at least 95% of the costs.

The programme cost for 2021/22 is £15,000.

You can find out more about funding an apprenticeship and the apprenticeship levy in our guide for employers.

Other costs

While most course costs are covered by your tuition fees, some essential resources and optional extras may need to be paid for separately. These additional costs are listed below. For advice on budgeting and managing your money, please contact

The 2021/22 other costs are not yet available. For guidance, previous other costs have been:

Optional costs

Uniform (2 x dress or 2 x top and 1 trouser) can be provided but you are likely to require additional uniforms which cost in the region of £30

Compulsory costs

  • DBS – Enhanced DBS fee - met by the apprentice employer
  • The apprentice employer will pay for an occupational health assessment/any immunisations if they are not covered by your GP
  • You will need a pair of suitable comfortable shoes while on clinical placement and studying in our simulation settings (estimated cost £40-£60)
  • You may need to purchase some of your own clinical items, for instance a stethoscope and fob watch (estimated cost £30)
  • You will need to be able to travel to study at our partner NHS trusts and to your placement - travel costs will be associated with this

Graduation costs

For graduates in 2020, there is no charge to attend graduation, but you will be required to pay for the rental of your academic gown (approximately £45 per graduate, depending on your award). You may also wish to purchase official photography packages, which range in price from £15 to £200+. Graduation is not compulsory, so if you prefer to have your award sent to you, there is no cost. Extra guest tickets will go on sale after results publication and will be sold on a first-come-first-served basis. The cost per ticket was £15 in 2019, but this fee is subject to change for future years. Please note, we do not guarantee there will be any extra tickets available to purchase.
Key entry requirements icon

Key entry requirements

    Entry to this apprenticeship is only available with the support of an employer. Those who are interested in taking this course should speak to their line manager or learning and development representative.

    Applicants will need to provide evidence of their ability to study at foundation degree level. GCSEs at grades C / 4 or above in English and Maths (or their equivalents) are essential. Applicants must also have a relevant level 3 qualification  If all other criteria are met, it might be possible for applicants to submit a portfolio of evidence of recent academic study for consideration as an alternative to a level 3 qualification.

    Interview includes a values-based discussion/interview and applicants must meet the NMC Good Health and Characteristics requirements.

    All students will be required to undertake a criminal convictions check through the Disclosure and Barring Service. This is organised by the employer before enrolment.

    Qualifications are checked before enrolment, and international students must bring their original certificates or certified copies when coming to study at the University.

Got a question about this course?

Contact our Solent team:

If you are a UK, EU or EEA applicant please contact 023 8201 5066 If you are an international applicant please contact 023 8201 5066

How to apply

If you are an employer or a potential apprentice and would like to have an in-depth conversation with us about potential opportunities, please send a message to or call 023 8201 5066.

If you would like more general information about apprenticeships, please see our  apprenticeship homepage.

What you'll study

Year one

Core modules
  • Foundation Skills to Support Practice 
    The module will provide an opportunity for you to develop skills in academic reading and critical writing to support learning at level 4.
  • Anatomy and Physiology to Support Practice
    You will learn about the biology of the main body systems focusing on anatomy, physiology and pathology. You will also explore how the body systems interact to maintain homeostasis and gain an understanding of cellular function within the human body.
  • Long Term Conditions
    This module aims to support development of your knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours when caring for people with long-term conditions. 
  • Introduction to Public Health and Health Promotion 
    This module will explore contemporary approaches to public health and examine the historical origins of the discipline in Britain which lie in the 19th century industrial age and the movement of populations from countryside to crowded cities.
  • Developing Professional Practice
    The module will explore accountability within health and social care by examining lessons learned from public inquiries and critical practice incidents.
  • Practice-Based Learning Year 1
    This module aims to promote your understanding of the responsibilities, challenges and limitations of your professional role as a Trainee Nursing Associate (TNA).

Year two

Core modules
  • Investigating Health and Conditions Across the Lifespan
    This module will examine the biological basis of disease exploring pathophysiological response to disease including fever, inflammation, cell signalling processes, cellular adaptations, cell transformation, proliferation, apoptosis, ischaemia, necrosis and impact of disease on the cell cycle.
  • Recognition and Escalation of Deteriorating Physical and Mental Health
    This module will enable you to understand and apply more complex care interventions to ensure safe, quality and effective care to patients with acute care needs who are at risk of deteriorating.
  • Service Improvement
    You will utilise skills and knowledge in several areas. Identification of a relevant topic requires observation in a practice setting and creative thinking. In measuring the impact of the improvement, as well as the clinical situation pre-improvement, you will utilise data collection skills.
  • Supervision and Assessment in Practice
    Supervision and Assessment in Practicewill help you apply knowledge of teamwork, leadership theories and principles of equality to practice and equip you for future responsibilities supervising and assessing others in accordance with occupational standards.
  • Extending Professional Practice
    This module bridges care practice and academic study. Extending Professional Practice is strongly theoretical, focusing on a diverse array of concepts underpinning modern health and social care practice. It is also practical; it explores the application of ideas and theories to practice.
  • Practice-Based Learning Year 2
    Practice-based Learning Year 2 - like its level 4 version - is a wide-ranging module focusing on a diverse array of topics. It includes preparation for placement at level 5 and further explores expectations and limitations of the Trainee Nursing Associate (TNA) role, particularly while on placement away from your primary workplace.

Meet the course team

Mandy Lyons academic profile Mandy Lyons Course Leader View profile
Ann Gorecki academic profile Ann Gorecki Senior Lecturer View profile
Lisa Arai academic profile Lisa Arai Senior Lecturer View profile
Wendy McCracken academic profile Wendy McCracken Senior Lecturer View profile
Stacy Hutchins academic profile Stacy Hutchins Senior Lecturer View profile
Claire Higginson academic profile Claire Higginson Lecturer View profile
Gemma Burley academic profile Gemma Burley Lecturer View profile

The university cannot guarantee any particular members of staff will teach specific aspects of the course in the future, but will endeavour to ensure the teaching team maintains their balance of experience and qualifications.


We have a dedicated clinical skills suite with a six bed ward, GP consulting room, nurse’s treatment room, waiting area/break out space, care home bedroom and working kitchen and bathroom.

There is a wide range of clinical equipment including simulation manikins to facilitate a number of simulated scenarios.  

Apprentices leave the programme with a more complete understanding of their responsibilities and the impact that effective care can have on patients.

Your future

Nursing associates work across all four fields of nursing: adult, children’s, mental health, and learning disability

The nursing associate role is employed across health and care services. Qualified nursing associates can also go on and train as a registered nurse by putting their training towards a shortened nursing degree or completing a degree-level nursing apprenticeship.

Industry links

This apprenticeship has been developed alongside our partner NHS Trusts and local care providers.


A range of placement opportunities are included in your course timetable to further your learning and experience.

Get ready to find your place

You can still experience life at Solent at a virtual open day! Hear from course tutors, take virtual campus and accommodation tours, and chat to us live.

Register for a virtual open day