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How to become an auxiliary nurse

Updated November 21, 2016

Auxiliary nurses, also known as health care assistants, are unregistered nurses in the United Kingdom who work in supporting roles in health care settings. Working as an auxiliary nurse can be not only a rewarding career choice, but also a stepping stone to a position as a registered nurse. However, to get to that first job as an auxiliary nurse, there are some important steps you must take.

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  1. Contact local health care facilities such as clinics, physicians' offices and hospitals to see if they are hiring entry-level health care assistants, or auxiliary nurses. You should also check nursing job boards for auxiliary nurse postings(see Resources section).

  2. Create or update your CV and draft a cover letter to the establishments with entry-level auxiliary nurse jobs available. List all relevant work experience and education that has taught you to work and communicate with people especially formal classes including those in a medical assistant or certified nursing program.

  3. Send in your CV and letter of motivation to these health care facilities seeking auxiliary nurses, either via e-mail or through the post office. Some establishments require that you fill out a specific application form, so include that as well if necessary.

  4. Work toward earning your national vocation qualifications (NVQ) once accepted as a health care assistant or auxiliary nurse. Auxiliary nurses can receive up to an NVQ Level 3 after assessments from supervising nurses and the passage of three written examinations testing your knowledge and skills of the role of an auxiliary nurse.

  5. Take and pass the three progressive NVQ exams administered at your place of work to attain a Level 3 and cement your status as a qualified health care assistant. You would then have the option of moving forward to attain a registered nursing degree via a registered nursing school or online LPN program.

  6. Tip

    If unable to secure an entry-level health assistant job, offer your services as a volunteer at a local health care facility, and you will be much more likely to receive a job offer.


    These requirements are not valid in the United States, but in U.K. territories only.

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Things You'll Need

  • Internet access
  • CV
  • Cover letter
  • Application form
  • Nursing courses

About the Author

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