News

Nursing students are not part of COVID-19 workforce, RCN asserts

College says Scottish Government announcement implies students on clinical placements are ‘acting as additional staff during pandemic’

College says Scottish Government announcement implies students on clinical placements are ‘acting as additional staff during pandemic’

The RCN has called for clarity regarding an announcement that thousands of nursing and midwifery students are ‘assisting’ with Scotland’s pandemic response.

The Scottish Government said 3,000 students on placements will support the safe delivery of care, with a further 7,000 assisting in February . The unpaid placements will count towards a student’s 2,300 clinical placement hours.

Students are learners, not part of workforce, says RCN

The RCN said it was concerned that the announcement implied students would be acting as additional staff for

College says Scottish Government announcement implies students on clinical placements are ‘acting as additional staff during pandemic’

Picture: Alamy

The RCN has called for clarity regarding an announcement that thousands of nursing and midwifery students are ‘assisting’ with Scotland’s pandemic response.

The Scottish Government said 3,000 students on placements will support the safe delivery of care, with a further 7,000 assisting in February. The unpaid placements will count towards a student’s 2,300 clinical placement hours.

Students are learners, not part of workforce, says RCN

The RCN said it was concerned that the announcement implied students would be acting as additional staff for the pandemic response, when such placements would actually be a normal part of a nursing student’s education.

‘It is important to be clear that this cohort of nursing students are going in to clinical areas to learn as part of their programme requirements, not to be part of the workforce,’ RCN Scotland interim director Colin Poolman said.

‘It is vital that, even during the pandemic, nursing students have access to a safe and supportive learning environment and their supernumerary status as learners is retained.’

Government praises ‘tireless’ work of nursing students

Humza Yousaf

Health secretary Humza Yousaf said the students have made an ‘invaluable contribution’ to the COVID-19 effort.

‘As part of their professional programme of education, and throughout the pandemic, these students have worked tirelessly to support our NHS,’ he said.

‘As we go into a third year facing up to the challenges of COVID-19, we are fortunate to combine good quality learning attained by students as part of their supervised practice with the positive impact these students have on the delivery of safe, effective patient care and their ongoing support of our NHS.’

Widespread NHS staff absences in Scotland related to COVID-19

The government’s announcement comes as the health service faces widespread staff sickness absences.

In the week to 11 January, on average 7,174 NHS staff, or around 4% of the NHS Scotland workforce, reported absent each day for a range of reasons related to COVID-19.

Today's figures show 6,221 new cases of COVID-19 reported in Scotland, and 43 people were in intensive care on 16 January with recently confirmed COVID-19.


In other news

Sign up to continue reading for FREE

OR

Unlock full access to RCNi Plus today

Save over 50% on your first three months:

  • Customisable clinical dashboard featuring 200+ topics
  • Unlimited online access to all 10 RCNi Journals including Primary Health Care
  • RCNi Learning featuring 180+ RCN accredited learning modules
  • NMC-compliant RCNi Portfolio to build evidence for revalidation
  • Personalised newsletters tailored to your interests

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this?

Jobs