Joanne Barrow has qualified as the first registered nursing associate for the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust.
Joanne was an assistant practitioner and accessed a further year’s study at the University of Central Lancashire.
Joanne is based in Lancaster, working as part of the district nursing team.
She said: “The RNA apprenticeship is a fantastic way to improve your knowledge of multiple disciplinary teams while learning new skills to put into practice at band four level.”
The nursing associate is a new generic nursing role in England that bridges the gap between healthcare support workers and registered nurses, to deliver hands-on, person-centred care.
Nursing associates are members of the nursing team, who have gained a nursing associate foundation degree awarded by a Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) approved provider, typically involving two years of higher-level study, enabling them to perform more complex and significant tasks than a healthcare assistant but not the same scope as a graduate registered nurse.
Following a plan of care written by a registered nurse, the nursing associate can provide support to patients, they have a diverse range of skills that includes administration of medicines, end of life care, catheterisation, preventing and managing infection, support with hydration and nutrition among others.
Louise Sutcliffe, district nurse team leader and practice assessor at the trust, said: “The role has been introduced to help build the capacity of the nursing workforce and the delivery of high-quality care whilst supporting nurses and wider multidisciplinary teams to focus on more complex clinical duties.
“It has been a privilege and a pleasure in being able to support and supervise Joanne in achieving this role, which has a positive and beneficial impact on our district nursing service.”
Gill Speight, the trust’s associate director of nursing – integrated community care group, said: “Congratulations to Joanne. This is a great addition to the trust team. We wish her all the best in her new role.”
The trust has a further cohort of staff from community and theatres due to qualify in January 2021.