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£3 million boost for nursing students with children in Scotland

Nursing students with dependents in Scotland are to receive an uplift to their financial support packages following £3 million of extra investment.  
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Nursing students with dependents in Scotland are to receive an uplift to their financial support packages following 3 million of extra investment.

The measure announced by first minister Nicola Sturgeon will help support about 1,000 nursing and midwifery students with children or caring responsibilities.

Ms Sturgeon also reiterated her commitment to retaining the nursing bursary, which will be scrapped in England from August 2017 and replaced with loans and tuition fees.

She said of the investment: This stands in stark contrast to the short-sighted actions of the UK government, where free nursing tuition and bursaries have been removed entirely, with early indications showing this is impacting on the number of students applying.

I also want to restate my commitment to protecting the non-means tested, non-repayable nursing and midwifery student bursary something we believe is essential to ensuring a steady

Nursing students with dependents in Scotland are to receive an uplift to their financial support packages following £3 million of extra investment.

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The measure announced by first minister Nicola Sturgeon will help support about 1,000 nursing and midwifery students with children or caring responsibilities.

Ms Sturgeon also reiterated her commitment to retaining the nursing bursary, which will be scrapped in England from August 2017 and replaced with loans and tuition fees.

She said of the investment: ‘This stands in stark contrast to the short-sighted actions of the UK government, where free nursing tuition and bursaries have been removed entirely, with early indications showing this is impacting on the number of students applying.

‘I also want to restate my commitment to protecting the non-means tested, non-repayable nursing and midwifery student bursary – something we believe is essential to ensuring a steady supply of trainees into the profession.’

Training places

The Westminster government said changes to student funding in England will pay for up to 10,000 more training places by 2020 and provide students with around 25% more financial support.

RCN Scotland associate director Ellen Hudson said the announcement by Ms Sturgeon was a step in the right direction towards getting nursing students a fairer package of support.

Ms Hudson said: ‘The additional funding will help some of Scotland’s nursing students, but the allowances are only one part of the support package.

‘The bottom line is that every student nurse should be able to finish their studies without falling into hardship.

‘The RCN will continue to fight for fairer funding for all nursing students.’

Financial details

In addition to the bursary, enhancements to financial support for the 2017-18 academic year include:

  • Single parents allowance will increase by £1,000 (from £1,303 to £2,303 per academic year).
  • Childcare allowance will increase by £1,250 (up to £2,466 per year for registered child care).
  • Dependants allowance will increase by £1,000 per year, up to £3,640 for spouse, cohabiting partner or first child where there is no dependent husband, wife or adult.

The total cost of funding pre-registration nursing and midwifery training and the nursing bursary is approximately £130 million, according to the figures.

The number of places for those starting nursing and midwifery training starting in 2017-18 is set to increase by 4.7%, bringing the total intake to 3,360 places.

The RCN said the intake figures equates to 142 extra student nurses across Scotland in 2017-18, which would include 110 more adult nurses, 22 more mental health nurses and 10 more children’s nurses.

Education provision

Ms Hudson called for a review of learning disability nurse education provision.

She said: ‘The intake shows that in learning disability nursing, student numbers are set to remain the same. At present, demand outstrips the supply of these nurses, so the current model is not working.

‘The RCN believes that a review of learning disability nursing education provision across Scotland is needed before next year’s intake figures are worked out.’


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