Bursary to stay in Wales – but nursing students must work in the country for two years after qualifying
Bursaries will continue to be available to new nursing students in Wales next year — but they will have to commit to spending the first two years of their career in the country.
Bursaries will continue to be available to new nursing students in Wales next year – with the proviso they commit to spending the first two years of their career in the country.
Health secretary Vaughan Gething confirmed that NHS bursaries will be available for nursing and midwifery students in 2017-18, unlike in England, where bursaries will be scrapped in August 2017.
However, the bursary for students who start their training in September 2017 will be based on them committing in advance of taking up the opportunity to work in Wales for two years after qualifying.
Mr Gething said the arrangement is intended to be in place for the 2017-18 cohort only, while a longer term support package is developed.
He added that longer term arrangements for students on health-related courses will be considered, alongside the recommendations of an independent review of higher education funding and student finance published in November.
‘I believe that to ensure we have the workforce we need, it is important that any enhanced investment made in training and development is combined with an opportunity to work in Wales – and a commitment to invest in the country by those who benefit,’ Mr Gething said.
‘We’re taking positive action to attract more health professionals across the country and throughout the UK to come to Wales to train, work and live,’ he added.
News that the bursary would continue was welcomed by health unions.
RCN Wales director Tina Donnelly said: 'This extremely positive news will encourage prospective nursing and midwifery students who won’t have to take out loans to fund their education.
‘In the New Year, we will endeavour to provide further evidence to the National Assembly for Wales to support retaining funding.’
Royal College of Midwives director for Wales Helen Rogers added: ‘This is very welcome news that will bring stability, certainty and much needed financial support for those looking to train as midwives next year.
‘I applaud the Welsh government for not going down the same road as England on this issue. It is vital for student midwives that the bursary is retained.’
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