Nursing Support Worker


In NHSScotland, Nursing Support Workers will provide care and treatment to people as part of the wider nursing team and can work in a variety of settings including hospitals, clinics, GP practices and patients' homes.

The Role(s)

Working closely with the nursing team, you will be trained to monitor patient’s health and well-being through observations and recording in the patient’s records. You will communicate with other professionals, patient’s families and carers to make sure their care is joined up and reflects what matters to them as individuals.

You will support people with personal care and daily living tasks, for example helping people to wash, dress and making sure they are eating and drinking well. Responding to people as individuals and ensuring care is safe, effective and person-centred are key skills in this role.

Skills, Interests and Abilities

Useful skills include:

  • Strong communication skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Team working skills
  • Caring and compassionate personality
  • Patience and empathy
  • Accuracy and attention to detail
  • Good level of physical fitness
  • Committed to on-going learning and development

Useful abilities include:

  • Being able to relate to people of all ages, lifestyles and backgrounds
  • Being able to reassure patients and explain procedures
  • Keeping your knowledge and skills up to date
  • Being able adapt to change and new ways of working

Entry Requirements

There is no minimum qualification required for applying for a Healthcare support worker job.  However, as working in healthcare brings additional responsibilities your learning journey will start with NHSScotland’s HCSW Mandatory Induction Standards.  These Induction Standards are designed to protect the public by ensuring all new staff in NHSScotland understand their role and responsibilities in relation to:

  • Protecting patients and the public
  • Health, safety and security
  • Working with people
  • Working and developing in your role

Once you have completed the Mandatory Induction Standards workbook, you will continue to demonstrate that you are working to the HCSW Code of Conduct.

Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG)

You will also need to be approved for membership of the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme managed by Disclosure Scotland.

Modern Apprenticeships

Modern Apprenticeships offer those aged over 16 paid employment with the opportunity to train for jobs at craft, technician and management level.

Currently, there are no Modern Apprenticeships which would lead directly to a career as a nursing support worker.

Learning and Development

Your learning and development journey will start with the Mandatory Induction Standards, and will be then be reviewed every year with your manager through the Personal Development Planning cycle. During your career you may be required or encouraged to undertake a recognised qualification, for example SQA SVQ Level 2 Healthcare Support (Clinical) - SCQF Level 6. Find out more about this qualification on the VQ Finder website.

Working as a Healthcare support worker in NHSScotland, you will be given the training you need for your role including:

  • Hygiene and infection control procedures
  • Safe moving and handling techniques
  • Communication Skills
  • Basic Life Support skills

This role could lead to a senior healthcare support worker job, or a more specific role like a theatre support worker. You can use your experience as a healthcare support worker to progress to university and complete registered nurse training to become a staff nurse.