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Millions of pounds to be invested to increase England’s nurse workforce

Funding includes clinical placements, district nursing and the nursing associate role
Nurse training a nursing student

Funding includes clinical placements, district nursing and the nursing associate role

An additional 10 million will be made available to fund clinical placements for nursing students in England in 2020-21.

Health Education England (HEE) chief nurse Mark Radford said the investment would capitalise on the 6% increase in applications for preregistration nursing courses in the UK, and would cover placement support and pastoral care.

Action to tackle nursing student attrition

Professor Radford made the announcement at the chief nursing officer for Englands summit in Birmingham. He also announced an additional 1 million to help tackle attrition on university nursing courses.

A 2019 analysis by Nursing Standard found that one in four nursing students were dropping out of their degree studies before graduation.

Funding includes clinical placements, district nursing and the nursing associate role


Picture: Neil O’Connor

An additional £10 million will be made available to fund clinical placements for nursing students in England in 2020-21.

Health Education England (HEE) chief nurse Mark Radford said the investment would capitalise on the 6% increase in applications for preregistration nursing courses in the UK, and would cover ‘placement support and pastoral care’.

Action to tackle nursing student attrition

Professor Radford made the announcement at the chief nursing officer for England’s summit in Birmingham. He also announced an additional £1 million to help tackle attrition on university nursing courses.

A 2019 analysis by Nursing Standard found that one in four nursing students were dropping out of their degree studies before graduation.

Other funding announcements made by Professor Radford at the summit included:

  • An £18 million investment in district nursing
  • £1 million for learning disability nurse training
  • £1 million for return to practice programmes to ensure returnees have access to appropriate courses
  • £4.8 million to promote careers in health and social care nursing 

More funding for nursing associates

Professor Radford also acknowledged the continued debate about the nursing associate role.

However, he said feedback from nursing associates highlighted that some intended to continue their training to become registered nurses.  

‘This route alone could add 3,000 registered nurses to support our workforce,’ he added. ‘I am delighted that we are planning to invest an additional £40 million [into the nursing associate role].’

Professor Radford added that every nursing associate will have a personal development plan written by September 2020 so that HEE can gauge how many want to train to become registered nurses.


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