TNA programme thrives despite Covid challenges

Our Trainee Nursing Associate (TNA) programme is going from strength to strength, despite work placements and face-to-face tuition being impacted by the pandemic.

The first cohort of team members on the two-year course have now qualified, while the second group have completed their first year and eight new starters have begun their initial stages.

The nationally recognised programme aims to bridge a skills gap between carers and registered nurses and leads to formal enrolment as a Registered Nursing Associate with the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

The coming year will be one of consolidation of learning for our trailblazing TNAs. For those who want to, there is an opportunity to take the qualification further and follow an 18-month course to become a Registered General Nurse.

Like all our TNAs, Verena Thomas, Senior Care Lead at Wellington Grange in Chichester, has been receiving tuition from Southampton Solent University, juggling intensive study with work and family commitments.

“I’m pleased and very proud to have qualified,” said Verena, a mother-of-three. “I want to say a big thank you to Colten Care, my Home Manager and colleagues. They have given me so much support.

FINALIST: Verena Thomas was shortlisted for Health Apprentice of the Year.

“I would definitely advise anyone who is pursuing a career in healthcare to go for it if they have the opportunity. It has been tough, especially in the last year with my children in lockdown and having to rearrange our TNA placements, so that instead of going out to community nursing, we have completed them within Colten Care. It has also been difficult to have all our university tuition delivered on Zoom rather than face to face, but it has been a brilliant course and the two years have gone by so quickly.”

In addition to qualifying, Verena was shortlisted for Solent University’s Health Apprentice of the Year award.

She was one of just ten finalists in the category out of nearly 200 foundation degree students. Verena was congratulated on raising the profile of TNAs by course leader Mandy Lyons, who said: “It’s a huge achievement to make the lecturers’ top ten shortlist.”

Our starters on this year’s TNA programme are also receiving initial tuition via Zoom and undertaking their first placements in-home due to Covid restrictions.

Charlotte Hurford, Senior Care Lead at Court Lodge in Lymington, joined us ten years ago as a Heathcare Assistant and was promoted in 2019 after completing Level 2 and 3 healthcare qualifications.

Charlotte said: “I’m keen to get stuck in and learn new skills so I can progress further. I‘m looking forward to the clinical side and would love to become an RGN.”

Likewise, Kerrie Cox, Senior Care Lead at The Aldbury in Poole, said: “I’m really excited about starting something new. I’ve been mentally preparing for juggling everything in my life and learning as I go.”

Both Charlotte and Kerrie appreciate the support they have received from Colten Care to enable them to start the TNA course.

Kerrie said: “I am so grateful for the confidence shown in me by my Home Manager, Clinical Lead, the senior nurses and other colleagues. I’m coming to the programme from a dementia care background but we all learn the same course content, bringing our different experiences.”

Our six other new starters on the TNA course are: Abbiee Louise, Abbotts Barton; Eva Predna Martins, Castle View; Ewa Kowalczyk, Fernhill; Ewelina Tilly and Jordon Ryan, both Linden House; and Kerry Price, Canford Chase.

« Back