Do trainee nurse associates have a role in maternity care?
With time and resources stretched, could this newly piloted role—created to bridge the gap between health care assistant and registered nurse—enhance the levels of care midwives can offer to women?
This week, I have been involved in the assessment of trainee nurse associates (TNA) via viva voce examinations. As midwives, we have always questioned our remit, and if any aspects of the role can or should be delegated to other members of the team. Although this is a generic ‘nursing’ role, being an assessor prompted me to consider how midwives might be best supported and if the introductions of TNAs could help improve women's experiences of maternity services.
The TNA is a newly developed role, that was established to bridge the gap between health care assistant and registered nurse (Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), 2017). The recommendation was borne from the Shape of Caring Review, Raising the Bar (Health Education England, 2015), which recognised the vital role of health support workers in the provision of care and the fact that they nevertheless have little training. The TNA programme will offer this teaching and can stand alone or act as a gateway into nurse training via an apprenticeship model. The NMC have stated that they will regulate this role, which provides added protection via national standards.
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