Graduates from our first cohort of Trainee Nursing Associates (TNAs) are preparing for the next stage to become registered nurses.
We first opened the TNA role to interested team members in 2019, assembling one of the biggest individual cohorts of private sector trainees.
Our initial group began two years of study in partnership with Southampton Solent University, with two further cohorts since then and a fourth one due to start in September 2022. The nationally recognised Nursing Associate role is intended to bridge a skills gap between carers and registered nurses.
By enabling trainees to work while studying, it provides an employed or apprenticed route into nursing practice with the option of a top-up programme to become a fully qualified RGN.
Cephanie Keightley, Senior Clinical Skills Trainer, says: “Many of our residents live with severe frailty and complex medical conditions, so there is an obvious need to keep enhancing our team’s clinical leadership capabilities and ensure we always have highly skilled professionals planning and delivering care. The availability of our TNA programme is one reason team members on the clinical side are happy to build their careers at Colten Care. Having more TNAs also gives our registered nurses the reassurance of knowing they have practitioners alongside them who are highly trained and accountable professionals with their own place on the NMC register. Career development and training is so important and the standalone TNA role is a very welcome progression route into graduate level nursing.”
Ligia Dragoi, who works at Avon Cliff in Bournemouth, is one of the graduates from our first cohort who is now following the onward programme to become a fully qualified nurse. The 18-month top-up includes further university study with bridging modules, reflective learning, essays and joining with third-year student nurses at Solent University in September 2022.
Ligia describes her support from Colten Care as both an ‘opportunity’ and a ‘road map’, adding: “I am so pleased to have done the TNA course and be enrolling on the nursing programme which will enable me to achieve my original goal of becoming a registered nurse. I have been able to acquire more skills, confidence and knowledge. I can offer a lot more at work than I was able to three years ago. That benefits me, my colleagues and our residents. I am now looking forward to accumulating more skills and enhancing what I can do even further.”
As well as Ligia, our first group of graduates were Lauren Sumner, Vicki Acott, Kim Gritt, Verena Thomas, Sophie Barrett and Michael Bruggenburg-Rothschild. There are also five colleagues from the second cohort who are set to graduate this summer.