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Is Nurse Assistant the same across trusts? Is it different from an HCA?

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According to the NHS website (Health Careers) The job titles, Nursing Assistants and Health Care Assistants seem to be interchangeable with each other and other job titles such as Nursing Auxiliaries and Auxiliary Nurses.

Healthcare assistants (HCAs) work in hospital or community settings, such as GP surgeries, under the guidance of a qualified healthcare professional, usually a nurse.

Sometimes staff working in HCA roles are known as nursing assistants, nursing auxiliaries or auxiliary nurses. (Source: NHS Health Careers)

There are no set entry requirements to become a Healthcare Assistant, although employers expect good literacy and numeracy and may ask for GCSEs (or equivalent) in English and maths. They may even ask for a healthcare qualification, such as BTEC or NVQ.

In comparison, academic entry requirements for adult nursing degrees are set by the individual universities but typically you will usually need a minimum of five GCSEs at grade C or above plus two A-levels or equivalent qualifications at level 3. Some universities may ask for three A-levels or equivalent.

To be a General Practice Nurse, you must be a qualified and registered adult, child, mental health or learning disability nurse to work in general practice. You’ll also either need to undertake further training and education or be willing to after being appointed. Some employers may ask for knowledge or experience in specific areas e.g. health promotion or working with patients with long-term conditions.

You can compare NHS job roles and qualification requirements by going to https://www.healthcareers.nhs.uk/explore-roles/compare-roles

One point of note from comments is that according to @NeMo, there seems to be a lack of consistency between trusts as some trusts have both Nursing Assistants and Healthcare Assistants

  • Overall a good answer, but some trusts have NAs and HCAs. Maybe there's just no consistency. – Ne Mo Jun 14 '18 at 11:22

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