Editorial - What is the role of a nursing associate in mental health?

Journal article


Brimblecombe, N. (2021). Editorial - What is the role of a nursing associate in mental health? Mental Health Practice. 24 (4).
AuthorsBrimblecombe, N.
Abstract

It is now five years since the nursing associate (NA) role was first proposed in England. The plan was for NAs to be trained with generic healthcare skills through a two-year time course and the role to bridge the gap between care assistants and registered nurses in the workforce.
Nursing associate role to complement registered nursing roles
This development created considerable anxiety in the nursing profession initially. These fears were somewhat reduced by the Nursing and Midwifery Council taking on the role of NA regulation and chief nurses carefully framing the NA role as part of the ‘nursing family’, complementing, as opposed to replacing registered nursing roles.
In mental health services acceptance of the role has also been driven by the persistent and pressing reality of nursing shortages and recognition that the NHS is unlikely to be able to recruit the number of registered nurses needed for expanding services any time soon, despite optimistic central projections.
NAs are now increasingly entering the mental health workforce in England – the other UK countries have their own training options – with NHS Digital figures for March 2021 showing 260 employed, mostly in inpatient settings, and 700 more on the training pipeline. Decisions are having to be made as to where and how NAs will work in nursing and multidisciplinary teams.
How nursing associates might be able to work in mental health services
Many NAs were formerly respected and valued support workers and will bring a wealth of experience with them. But, due to the newness of the role, there is – as yet – no evidence about the best way to use NAs in mental health services.
Some limited evidence suggests that approaches to NA employment vary between NHS trusts, with some reporting NAs in qualified staff numbers, others replacing support worker roles with NAs, and with some associates employed as additional newly funded staff.
Such variation provides a valuable opportunity to test different models and places an onus on NHS trusts and research funders to support evaluation processes.

Keywordsnursing associate; mental health nursing; healthcare workforce; nursing roles
Year2021
JournalMental Health Practice
Journal citation24 (4)
PublisherRCNi
Web address (URL)https://rcni.com/mental-health-practice/opinion/comment/what-role-of-a-nursing-associate-mental-health-177221
Publication dates
Print16 Aug 2021
Publication process dates
Accepted14 Aug 2021
Deposited24 Aug 2021
Accepted author manuscript
License
File Access Level
Open
Permalink -

https://openresearch.lsbu.ac.uk/item/8x9w5

Download files


Accepted author manuscript
MHP editorial Aug 2021 Nurs Assoc.docx
License: CC BY 4.0
File access level: Open

  • 5
    total views
  • 2
    total downloads
  • 4
    views this month
  • 0
    downloads this month

Export as

Related outputs

Qualitative study of factors perceived by senior health service staff as influencing the development of Advanced Clinical Practice roles in mental health services
Brimblecombe, N. and Nolan, F. (2021). Qualitative study of factors perceived by senior health service staff as influencing the development of Advanced Clinical Practice roles in mental health services. Journal of psychiatric and mental health nursing. https://doi.org/10.1111/JPM.12792
Mental Health Nurse Academics can help attain Goals for Mental Health Research and influence Policy
Brimblecombe, N., Simpson, A., Hannigan, B. and Turner, J. (2021). Mental Health Nurse Academics can help attain Goals for Mental Health Research and influence Policy. Journal of Mental Health. https://doi.org/10.1080/09638237.2021.1898568
Editorial - Have your say on Mental Health Act reforms
Brimblecombe, N. (2021). Editorial - Have your say on Mental Health Act reforms. Mental Health Practice. 24 (2), pp. 5-5. https://doi.org/10.7748/mhp.24.2.5.s1
Editorial COVID-19: will you as a mental health nurse get vaccinated?
Brimblecombe, N. (2021). Editorial COVID-19: will you as a mental health nurse get vaccinated? Mental Health Practice. 24, p. 3. https://doi.org/10.7748/mhp.24.1.5.s1
Advanced Clinical Practitioners in London NHS Trusts 2020 HEE
Allan, H.T, Brimblecombe, N., Collin, L., Drennan, V., Halter, M. and Taylor, F. (2021). Advanced Clinical Practitioners in London NHS Trusts 2020 HEE. Health Education England.
Editorial - Mental health nurses should influence what data are gathered for service users
Brimblecombe, N. (2020). Editorial - Mental health nurses should influence what data are gathered for service users. Mental Health Practice. 23 (5), pp. 5-5. https://doi.org/10.7748/mhp.23.5.5.s1
COVID-19 and mental health nursing: what's next?
Brimblecombe, Neil (2020). COVID-19 and mental health nursing: what's next? Mental Health Practice. 23 (4), pp. 5-5.
The nurse consultant in mental health services: A national, mixed methods study of an advanced practice role
Brimblecombe, N., Nolan, F., Khoo, Mary‐Ellen, Culloty, Leon, O'Connor, Kate and McGregor‐Johnson, Lindsay (2019). The nurse consultant in mental health services: A national, mixed methods study of an advanced practice role. Journal of psychiatric and mental health nursing. 26 (5-6), pp. 117-130. https://doi.org/10.1111/jpm.12533
A mixed‐methods survey to explore views of staff and patients from mental health wards prior to introduction of a digital early warning system for physical deterioration
Brimblecombe, N., Quist, Haddy and Nolan, F. (2019). A mixed‐methods survey to explore views of staff and patients from mental health wards prior to introduction of a digital early warning system for physical deterioration. Journal of psychiatric and mental health nursing. 26 (3-4), pp. 65-76. https://doi.org/10.1111/jpm.12511
Community Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing: Contexts and Challenges—The Case of Nurse Prescribing and Recovery-Focused Interventions
Hemingway, S and Brimblecombe, N (2018). Community Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing: Contexts and Challenges—The Case of Nurse Prescribing and Recovery-Focused Interventions. in: Santos, JC and Cutcliffe, JR (ed.) European Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing in the 21st Century: A Person-Centred Evidence-Based Approach Heidelberg, Germany Springer. pp. 183-193
National survey of nurse prescribing in mental health services; a follow-up 6 years on
Dobel-Ober, D and Brimblecombe, N (2016). National survey of nurse prescribing in mental health services; a follow-up 6 years on. Journal of psychiatric and mental health nursing. 23 (6-7), pp. 378-386. https://doi.org/10.1111/jpm.12329
Using workload measurement tools in diverse care contexts: The experience of staff in mental health and learning disability inpatient settings
Fanneran, T, Brimblecombe, N, Bradley, E and Gregory, S (2015). Using workload measurement tools in diverse care contexts: The experience of staff in mental health and learning disability inpatient settings. Journal of psychiatric and mental health nursing. 22 (10), pp. 764-772. https://doi.org/10.1111/jpm.12263