It is widely recognised that all sectors of the healthcare workforce were already experiencing widespread stress, mental health problems and burnout. The spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) across the globe and the associated morbidity and mortality has challenged nations and their health services by several means. These existing levels of work-related health problems are likely rise further due to the exceptional pressure that many nurses are experiencing during the pandemic (Kinman et al 2020; NHS Confederation 2020; West et al 2020). Bespoke mental health support for both professional groups is needed now more than ever.

The role of a Professional Nurse Advocate (PNA) and use of A-EQUIP model (advocating for education and quality improvement) is well placed to facilitate support during this time. In order to provide further wellbeing, there is a need to increase the number of PNAs across the country.

The training will provide the participants with the skills to facilitate restorative supervision to colleagues and teams. In addition, the training equips nurses to lead and deliver quality improvement initiatives in response to service demands and changing patient requirements.

To train Nurses as Professional Nurse Advocates (PNA’s) in England. NHSE/I funded PNA Training and have appointed Higher Education Institutes (HEI) in England to deliver the training.

The course offer will consist of a 10-day virtual programme which is accredited at Level 7 and therefore all potential PNA students will need to evidence prior learning at a Level 6.

More information about restorative supervision can be found online.

The point of contact is

What is the Professional Nurse Advocate (PNA) training programme?

The virtual Level 7 Accredited PNA Training Programme will run for 10 days, but the delivery may differ due to the various Higher Education Institutes delivering the programme and the mode of academic assessment can vary from: short essays, poster presentations and competency portfolios.

The training programme is accessible to Bands 5 and above, if you can evidence that you have obtained a Level 6 qualification or equivalent and have line manager approval. It is expected that as soon as you start the PNA Training Programme, you will start to; support your fellow colleagues, facilitate restorative clinical supervision in practise, and lead and deliver quality improvement initiatives in response to the service demands and the ongoing changing patient requirements.

The PNA Training Programme will focus on the four functions of the Advocating for Education and Quality and Improvement (A-Equip) Model, but it will primarily focus on restorative clinical supervision. The four functions of the A-Equip Model are as follows:

  • Clinical Supervision (Restorative)
  • Monitoring, Evaluation and Quality Control (Normative)
  • Personal Action for Quality Improvement
  • Education and Development (Formative).

Are there any entry requirements to enrol on the PNA training programme?

The entry requirements are:

  • You are band 5 or above (primarily aimed at bands 5 and 6 front line staff)
  • You have evidence that you have obtained a level 6 qualification or equivalent, such as post-graduate modules, internal level 6 modules or pre-2012 nursing diploma
  • You have line manager approval.

Is there a cost to undertaking the PNA training programme?

There is no cost to you to undertake the PNA Training. The training programme is fully funded by NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE/I). Upon submitting an expression of interest, applicants make a commitment to complete the programme, supported by the line manager and nominated PNA lead for your organisation.

Who do I contact with enquiries relating to the PNA training programme?

The point of contact is

Do I receive an increase in my salary for undertaking the programme and facilitating Restorative Clinical Supervision (RCS) in practice and supporting fellow colleagues – are there additional responsibilities on top of my current role?

No, there will be no increase in salary from undertaking the PNA Training Programme. We expect the additional responsibilities to be implemented as part of your current role.

Can I undertake the PNA training programme while I am undertaking academic studies?

In view of the time commitment required to complete the PNA Training programme, we would not recommend that you apply for the PNA training programme while you have other academic commitments.

I have received my outcome letter containing my allocated university, what are my next steps?

Please complete the registration and enrolment process, as detailed in the outcome letter to secure your place on the programme. Should you experience any difficulties with this process, please arrange to contact the university at the email address provided in the outcome letter and they will be happy to support you through this process.

I have just received my cohort start date, but I must now withdraw or cannot commit to completing the programme. What can I do?

Please discuss this with your line manager and your nominated PNA lead, to identify what support they can provide to enable you to undertake the programme. If after speaking with your line manager and your PNA lead you need to withdraw, please contact the Northwest PNA team.

NHS England » Professional nurse advocate

I have started the programme but now wish to defer to a later cohort. What can I do?

Once an expression of interest is submitted and a university placement secured, there is no option to defer to a later date, unless there are extenuating circumstances. You will need to discuss this with your line manager and nominated PNA lead in the first instance to explore what additional support they can provide to enable you to complete the programme.

What is the funding process for the PNA programme?

The virtual programme is fully funded directly from NHSE/I and paid straight to the allocated Higher Education Institutes (HEIs).

Can I still enrol if I do not hold a level 6 qualification?

Apologies, if you apply and do not hold a relevant level 6 qualification you will be unsuccessful and not secure a place on the programme. This is due to the HEIs not wanting to set anyone up to fail with this being a level 7 accredited programme.

How can I contact my allocated university (for holiday, sickness and absence, bereavement, withdrawal, personal circumstances relating to children or health conditions)?

All relevant contact details for each higher education institute delivering the programme can be found on the PNA website.

What is the process for submitting my expression of interest and confirming a place on the programme?

The process consists of the following steps:

  • Expression of interest (EOI) completed by applicant and submitted to line manager to confirm support
  • Line manager confirms applicant holds a level 6 qualification and can commit to undertaking training, and submits the EOI to the PNA lead for approval
  • PNA lead considers EOI and confirms approval (or otherwise) to the line manager and applicant, and submits approved EOI to the Northwest PNA team
  • EOI acknowledged and allocated university confirmed including links to register and enrol on the programme
  • University registration and enrolment process followed to receive your student login and cohort details
  • Enrolled onto the PNA training programme
  • Await your cohort's start date.


The Professional Nurse Advocate (PNA) programme delivers training and restorative supervision for colleagues right across England. The programme launched in March 2021, towards the end of the third wave of COVID-19. This was the start of a critical point of recovery: for patients, for services and for our workforce.

PNA training provides those on the programme with skills to facilitate restorative supervision to their colleagues and teams, in nursing and beyond. A version of this programme exists already for maternity colleagues, where outcomes point to improved staff wellbeing and retention, alongside improved patient outcomes. The training equips them to listen and to understand challenges and demands of fellow colleagues, and to lead support and deliver quality improvement initiatives in response.

This programme is the first of its kind for nursing not just in England, but across the world, and we are keen to measure and share its impact. We will commission an economic evaluation and independent research for this programme.

The professional nurse advocate A-EQUIP model: A model of clinical supervision for nurses document describes the professional nurse advocate (PNA) role and the A-EQUIP (Advocating and Educating for QUality ImProvement) model of professional nursing leadership and clinical supervision, and provides guidance on their implementation, including key actions for each relevant group. It is of particular relevance to all nurses, student nurses, providers of nursing services and patients.

Professional Nurse Advocate Supervision 1

Professional Nurse Advocate Supervision 2

Professional Nurse Advocate delivered restorative clinical supervision