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Opportunity, support and understanding: the experience of four early trainee nursing associatesThis study aimed to capture the lived experience of some of the first trainee nursing associates (TNAs) during the pilot of the role in the January 2017 cohort of TNAs, based at the University of Derby. A convenience sampling approach was used to recruit participants to this phenomenological study. In-depth, semi-structured interviews were carried out with four participants to capture the experience, as lived by the first cohort of TNAs. Transcripts were transcribed verbatim and were analysed using interpretive phenomenological analysis. Analysis suggests that the participant experience was characterised by six themes, namely: challenges relating to NA training; developing new skills; opportunity; the importance of support; impact of the NA role; and understanding the NA role. This study adds to our understanding relating to the lived experience of some of the first TNAs taking up training for this role within healthcare, and highlights some of the factors that were most pertinent, according to the lived experience of the trainees themselves. The authors hope that the findings of this study will prove useful for those considering taking up training for the role, or indeed establishments considering implementing the role with their settings.