Student grants: who will and won’t get the full £8,000 for hard-to-recruit disciplines

Only some learning disability and mental health nursing students eligible for extra £3,000

Only some learning disability and mental health nursing students eligible for extra £3,000

The governemnt has pleddged up to £8,000 in grants for nursing students in hard-to-recruit disciplines
Picture: Alamy

Learning disability and mental health nursing students in England will only receive the full £8,000 grant promised by the Conservatives if they fulfil certain conditions, according to new details.

The Conservatives promised to give all nursing students a yearly maintenance grant of £5,000 from September 2020, with a further £3,000 available for those studying hard-to-recruit disciplines.

From September, students on learning disability or mental health nursing degree courses will receive an additional £1,000 a year, plus a further £1,000 per year if they live in certain, as-yet-undefined, regions of England.

All nursing students will also be able to apply for £1,000 per academic year towards childcare costs.

‘Not enough to combat workforce crisis’

Minister for Care Caroline Dinenage
Minister for care Caroline Dinenage

Minister for care Caroline Dinenage said: ‘In the years to come, we’re going to need more learning disability nurses to provide high quality care, so I’m delighted that from September all new students will receive at least £6,000 a year to help with their cost of living.’

RCN director for England Mike Adams said while the additional funding was a recognition of the drop in mental health and learning disability nurse numbers, it still fell short of what is needed to combat the nursing workforce crisis in England.

‘We will only see safe and effective care for all patients once all nursing vacancies are filled and there is a sustained pipeline of new nursing graduates,’ he said.

‘This is why all financial barriers to studying nursing at degree level must be removed.’

How the grant system compares to the scrapped bursary scheme

All nursing students will still have to pay yearly tuition fees of £9,000.

The policy forms part of a government pledge to have 50,000 more nurses in England by 2025.

The new grant system comes more than two years after the Conservatives scrapped free tuition and bursaries for nursing students in England in August 2017.

The previous system offered up to a maximum of £16,454 per student per year for those undertaking a full-time degree in nursing, made up of tuition fee grants, maintenance grants and maintenance loans.

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