“The Nursing Associate programme is opening up so many doors”
Former Health Care Assistant, Ian Costello, talks about this exciting new course

Ian Costello spent 15 years working as a Health Care Assistant (HCA) at Warren Court’s Forensic Unit and it is a role that he is passionate about. During his time there he has gained considerable experience and expertise so he felt it was time to take the next step. When his supervisor, recognising Ian’s potential, encouraged him to apply to join HPFT’s new Nursing Associate Programme he jumped at the chance.

“The Nursing Associate programme is a bridge between health care assistant and registered nurse. Upskilling knowledgeable HCA’s to become Nursing Associates capable of delivering direct care frees up nurses and acts as a complimentary role” Ian explains. The course runs for two years during which time Trainee Nursing Associates (TNA’s) are skilled in all areas of nursing.

Much of the course is split between distance and work based learning but students also spend one day a week at university and go on regular placements.  One of Ian’s placements was to North West CATT (Crisis Assessment and Treatment Team) and he was clearly impressed. “The work they do supporting people in their homes is amazing. You can see the Trust’s values in everything they do.” Ian is now looking forward to his next placement and top of his list is A&E and ITU.

Ian is thoroughly enjoying the Nursing Associate Programme “It’s opening up so many doors for me” he says. “I was elected to be both the Student Representative for HPFT as well as for the University of Hertfordshire and I’ve been invited to sit on the National Implementation Panel NMC (Nursing and Midwifery Council) HEE (Health Education England). I was an HCA and  now I’m going to be so much more” he adds.

Update: Since this interview Ian has completed his course and is now a fully qualified Registered Nursing Associate, LD and Forensic Service and Joint lead Nursing Associate Ambassador for Health Education England.