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Self-funded nursing degrees on the rise

More trusts looking at how to offer undergraduate places not covered by bursaries

Nursing StandardA rising number of NHS foundation trusts and universities plan to offer self-funded undergraduate nursing programmes in a bid to tackle staffing shortages, an exclusive report in Nursing Standard has revealed.

In February, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Bolton were the first to provide nursing places that had not been commissioned and funded by Health Education England.

A second cohort of 28 students from the Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Trust started on the University of Bolton course this month, with the university receiving more than 700 applications.

But a further three trusts have developed or are exploring how to offer undergraduate places that would be self-funded.

From 2016, Bolton NHS Foundation Trust will place 50 students per year and Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust will place 20 students per year on the University of Bolton course. Students will be funded through loans, not bursaries.

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has revealed it will be offering its own undergraduate nursing programme and is undertaking a tendering process to work with an NMC-approved provider.

Another university in the north of England is also seeking approval for a self-funded degree.

A Council of Deans of Health spokesperson said: ‘The growth of self-funded places is a sign of frustration with the persistent gaps between workforce planning numbers and employers’ needs.’

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