Other opportunities

There are limited places available on this programme and if you are not successful at interview or during the recruitment process there may be other opportunities available to you. Please see below for more details.

Why not consider the Trainee Nurse Associate Programme?

nursing associate is a member of the nursing team in England that helps bridge the gap between health and care assistants and registered nurses.

Nursing associates work across all four fields of nursing: adult, children’s, mental health, and learning disability. Your skills and responsibilities will vary, depending on the care setting you work in. You’ll need to demonstrate the values and behaviours of the NHS Constitution.

It’s a stand-alone role that also provides a progression route into graduate level nursing.

Your duties are likely to include: 

  • undertaking clinical tasks including venepuncture and ECGs
  • supporting individuals and their families and carers when faced with unwelcome news and life-changing diagnoses
  • performing and recording clinical observations such as blood pressure, temperature, respirations and pulse
  • discussing and sharing information with registered nurses on a patients’ condition, behaviour, activity and responses
  • ensuring the privacy, dignity and safety of individuals is maintained at all times
  • recognising issues relating to safeguarding vulnerable children and adults

Entry requirements

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. Local employers will also ask for a level 3 qualification or equivalent. You’ll also need to show that you can study for a foundation degree level and complete the Nursing Associate Apprenticeship programme.

Your training

You’ll 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 an acute, community or mental health hospital, care home or hospice but also gain experience in other settings. This will mean travelling to placements and working a mix of shifts.

It is very important to plan and manage the competing demands of your job role, study and placements. You’ll develop an understanding of all elements of nursing and caring for individuals with conditions such as dementia, mental ill health and learning disabilities/difficulties.

Career development

Once you’ve finished your training, you’ll have the knowledge, understanding, skills, attitudes and behaviours to work as a nursing associate. Qualified nursing associates can also go on to train as a registered nurse in time after consolidation.

If you are already employed within a health or care setting to find out more about the apprenticeship route, including how to apply, speak with your line manager, education team or apprenticeship lead. If you are not currently employed within a health or care setting, any nursing associate opportunities will be shared on Join Our Dorset.


The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) is responsible for registering and regulating nursing associates.

Why not gain some hands-on experience as a Health Care Support Worker?  This is a vital role within the health and care sector and can give you the valuable background experience and knowledge before you embark on your next step in your career.

Healthcare support workers work across a variety of settings, from mental health to children’s services. The choice is yours. As a healthcare support worker, you’ll work under the supervision of a healthcare professional, supporting them and helping patients on their healthcare journey.

The opportunities to progress are endless; you can choose to specialise in a particular setting, or train to qualify as a healthcare professional, such as a nurse or midwife. In some trusts, healthcare support workers have slightly different job titles such as healthcare assistant (or HCA), nursing assistant or midwifery assistant, depending on your chosen setting and the healthcare professionals you support.

Working life

It’s a hands-on role – one minute you could be taking blood and the next lending an ear to an anxious patient – but it’s one of the most rewarding. Your day-to-day will vary depending on which part of the NHS you’re working in. For example, if you’re based in a hospital your duties may include:

  • helping patients to move around
  • monitoring patients and performing basic health checks
  • making patients feel comfortable
  • supporting patients to wash and dress
  • serving meals and helping to feed patients

If you’re based in a health centre or GP surgery, you may:

  • perform health checks
  • take blood samples
  • process lab samples
  • sterilise equipment
  • restock consulting rooms
  • undertake health promotion and education work

No matter which area you choose to work in, being a healthcare support worker is a key role that’s at the very heart of healthcare.

Entry requirements and skills needed

There are no set entry requirements to become a healthcare support worker, but good literacy and numeracy skills are expected, and in some cases GCSEs (or equivalent) in English and Maths are required too. There may be opportunities to undertake a healthcare qualification.

For some roles, some experience of healthcare or care work may be beneficial – this could be from paid or voluntary work, or through experience you bring in from previous roles.

Academic qualifications aren’t everything. You’ll also need to be caring, kind and willing to really get stuck into the role – it’s a hands-on environment where teamwork, communication and organisational skills are vital.

If you are already employed within a health or care setting to find out more about healthcare support worker roles, including how to apply, speak with your line manager, education team or apprenticeship lead. If you are not currently employed within a health or care setting, any healthcare support worker opportunities will be shared on Join Our Dorset.

Please visit the Join Our Dorset website to see the latest opportunities available.

Ready to start your career in nursing? 

If you’re interested in finding a career with the NHS in Dorset, take a look at the opportunities we currently have available.

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