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  • 13 November 2023
  • 5 min read

Do Student Nurses Get An NHS Bursary And How You Can Apply For It In 2024

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    • Mat Martin
    • Richard Gill
    • Laura Bosworth
    • Auxillia Takaedza
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Getting clarity on this is not easy. Official UK Gov guidance changes frequently. We use UK Gov as our source. "If you’re eligible for an NHS bursary, the NHS pays your standard tuition fees. Your course tuition fees are paid directly to your university." Please contact us and share YOUR experience.

Student Nurses will get a minimum bursary of £5,000. This does not need to be paid backStudent Nurses will get a minimum bursary of £5,000. This does not need to be paid back"

If you’re considering Nursing and want to know how much the Student Nursing bursary is, who is eligible and how you can apply for one - then this article is for you!

All Nursing Students can access at least £5,000 a year maintenance grant – or what’s commonly known as the bursary

Yes, Student Nurses do get an NHS bursary in 2024.

But it’s important to note exactly how it works.

As a minimum, Nursing Students can access a non-means tested grant of £1000 a year. Then Nurses can also access a means-tested bursary, and the amount available varies.

How Much Bursary Will I Get As A Nursing Student?

Everyone will get the £1000 grant.

The amount you get beyond these will depend on the means testing programme, and whether you live at home while you study. It will also depend on whether you study in London or not.

As a very broad guide, your bursary amount will likely be somewhere between £2000 and £4000, in addition to the £1000 grant.

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Am I Eligible For Any Income Beyond The Bursary?

A childcare allowance is payable for relevant applicants, and should cover up to 85% of childcare costs.

Everything else really comes down to the means testing process.

The amount of means-tested bursary you have access to is not explicitly stated and depends on factors including:

•  whether you live with parents

• the income of your spouse

• what part of the country you’re studying in

• the length of your academic year

Our understanding is that any means-tested increases will be nominal.

And the factors looked at as part of the means-testing process are subject to change.

Just to explain this means testing a little more... it means, simply that you may receive a higher amount if you study in London, or if your course runs for more than 30 weeks and 3 days in the academic year.

Only YOUR OWN specific situation and intentions will reveal this upon your successful application.

Will My Tuition Fees Be Covered?

If you are eligible for the NHS Bursary, your tuition fees will be covered.

The only situation in which your fees won't be fully covered is if your course is a specialist one that means your fees are non-standard and higher.

(Important note: Getting absolute clarity on this is not easy. Official UK Gov guidance changes frequently. We use UK Gov as our source. "If you’re eligible for an NHS bursary, the NHS pays your standard tuition fees. Your course tuition fees are paid directly to your university." However, we are aware that this seems to not be the actual lived experience of students. Please contact us and share YOUR story.)

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Will I Have To Pay My Nursing Bursary Back?

Student Nurses, once qualified, are not required to pay the bursary payment back

No, you will not need to pay back your Nursing Bursary payment.

To be clear, this is a payment to you, not a loan.

Student Nurses, once qualified, are not required to pay the bursary payment back.

It is not like a Student Loan.

How Do You Apply For The Nursing Bursary?

To apply for the bursary you need to first create an account on the NHS Student Bursaries website.

You’ll then have to fill out an application form that takes around 30 minutes.

You might also need to provide supporting evidence but this will be explained in an email you’ll receive.

It’s important to remember that you will need to reapply for the bursary every academic year – although it’s relatively easy to do so.

To find out more about applying for a Nursing bursary and to actually start the application process go to this page within the NHS website.

This will also answer any questions you might have about managing your bursary, when you’ll receive payments, and how long applications take to process.

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What Funding For Student Nurses Is Available Other Than The Bursary?

Beyond the bursary, there are other useful sources of financial support for Nursing Students.

You can claim Practice Placement Expenses if you incur extra travel and accommodation costs while on a practice placement.

Furthermore, hardship grants and loans are available to Students who are eligible.

And having the bursary doesn’t impact on your access to a full Student loan through the Student Loans Company.

Has The Nursing Bursary Inspired Nursing Applications?

The Student Nursing bursary returned in September 2020, having been scrapped in 2015.

The plan to bring back Student bursaries was launched before Coronavirus spread.

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In 2022, applications did rise considerably. The large number of people applying for Nursing degrees was apparently due to people being inspired by the diligence and compassion of Nurses and Care professionals during the Covid pandemic, and not the re-introduction of the bursary.

However, in 2023, nursing degree applications actually dropped by 16% according to UCAS and the Royal College of Nursing. So to date, it's difficult to argue that the re-introduction of the bursary has made a significant impact on nursing applications.

Is The New Nursing Bursary The Same As The Original One?

No, the new Nursing bursary pays less to Students than the one that was scrapped in 2015.

The earlier iteration provided Nursing Students with a minimum of £10,000 a year, up to a maximum of £16,454.

(Here’s more information on the new Nursing Bursary introduced in 2020.)

Whether or not the current bursary scheme will become more generous over the coming years remains to be seen.

But the good news is that having the bursary does not impact access to a Student loan through the Student Loans Company.

The difference, of course, is that you are required to pay Student Loans back while the Nursing bursary is a payment which you will NOT need to pay back.

Does The Bursary Apply To Open University Students?

Open University students on the standard nursing programme do not qualify for the bursary – they are employed in a healthcare role and have to supported by their employer to be on the programme.

However, students on the OU's newer, blended nursing programme are eligible to apply for the bursary.

This is the programme is run in partnership with Middlesex University and the University of West of England.

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I believe people working in healthcare should be able to choose to enjoy work. That is, choose an employer who reflects their values and provides them with a sustainable career. This leads to better patient care, higher retention rates and happier working lives in this most important employment sector.

    • Mat Martin
    • Richard Gill
    • Laura Bosworth
    • Auxillia Takaedza
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    • Karen Whent 11 months ago
      Karen Whent
    • Karen Whent
      11 months ago

      can you confirm -- if a student chooses to attend a university but remain at home address - are they ... read more

      • Hi Karen. We'd love to be able to answer all questions. But we simply don't know the answer to details like this, which will probably depend on the University you're attending and your own specific ci... read more

        Hi Karen. We'd love to be able to answer all questions. But we simply don't know the answer to details like this, which will probably depend on the University you're attending and your own specific circumstances. So, I would suggest you ask the university you hope to attend.
        read less

        Replied by: Matt Farrah
    • Louise Murphy one year ago
      Louise Murphy
    • Louise Murphy
      one year ago

      Will Nursing students from Rep. of Ireland be eligible for NHS bursary Sept 2023? Also, is it means tested?

      • Hi Louise. We are currently(as of last week)looking at possible changes made by the Government around means testing and the bursary available. We will post our findings here, and edit the article acco... read more

        Hi Louise. We are currently(as of last week)looking at possible changes made by the Government around means testing and the bursary available. We will post our findings here, and edit the article accordingly. With regard to bursaries for non-UK students... You should always research this deeply yourself, but our understanding is that, to be eligible for an NHS bursary to finance your studies you must have been living in the UK for 3 years. There are exceptions, but for that level of detail you should check the UK Government website to see if you fulfil any of those requirements.
        read less

        Replied by: Matt Farrah
    • Kelly Compton one year ago
      Kelly Compton
    • Kelly Compton
      one year ago

      I have been trying to get my bursary since September but they keep saying my parents earn over £25k so ... read more

      • Hi Kelly. We were unaware of this change so we will look into it immediately and update this article accordingly. Thanks so much for bringing this to our attention.

        Replied by: Matt Farrah

        Hi again Kelly(and others looking for information!). It looks like nurses do still get the bursary, but the wording on the gov and NHSBA sites is incredibly confusing. Also, they've definitely updated... read more

        Hi again Kelly(and others looking for information!). It looks like nurses do still get the bursary, but the wording on the gov and NHSBA sites is incredibly confusing. Also, they've definitely updated some details so we will need to investigate and then give this page a full refresh. It appears to be one of those updates that went through quietly, and where the overall offer is worse but it's not especially noticeable until you comb through it. One of my colleagues is going to get stuck in, find out more, and sort out this article. One of us may then write an opinion piece about this(depending on what we find). Thanks again. I'll personally keep you updated here. Matt.
        read less

        Replied by: Matt Farrah

        Hi Kelly. I wanted to let you know we have finished researching this and have found that there have been changes. We've updated the article accordingly. Thanks again for notifying us about your experi... read more

        Hi Kelly. I wanted to let you know we have finished researching this and have found that there have been changes. We've updated the article accordingly. Thanks again for notifying us about your experience. Let me know what you think of the changes the UK Gov has made.
        read less

        Replied by: Matt Farrah
    • Gemma Ralph one year ago
      Gemma Ralph
    • Gemma Ralph
      one year ago

      Hi if I study nursing in England will I be entitled to a bursary if I am a Northern Irish ... read more

      • Hi Gemma. We've looked into this and the answer is Yes. You would be considered British, and all British citizens, including anyone from Northern Ireland, can get an NHS bursary wherever they choose t... read more

        Hi Gemma. We've looked into this and the answer is Yes. You would be considered British, and all British citizens, including anyone from Northern Ireland, can get an NHS bursary wherever they choose to study. Go for it!
        read less

        Replied by: Matt Farrah
    • Emily Smith 2 years ago
      Emily Smith
    • Emily Smith
      2 years ago

      Hi, im looking at a complete career change from working in business banking to nursing. I would need to continue ... read more

      • Hi Emily. Leave this with me and we'll come back to you!

        Replied by: Matt Farrah

        Hi Emily, How exciting for you! Reports are that it is a full on 3 years degree with placements to include shifts. Some people do work but it is a decision only you can take, knowing your own lifetyle... read more

        Hi Emily, How exciting for you! Reports are that it is a full on 3 years degree with placements to include shifts. Some people do work but it is a decision only you can take, knowing your own lifetyle factors. You may also be eligible to receive an NHS Training Grant of £5,000 per academic year and I believe this is not means tested. Another alternative to consider is Open University's new blended Adult Nursing Course. Applications are open to the end of Nov with a February 2022 start. All the very best with your applications and let us know once you are on your way!
        read less

        Replied by: Nikki Goodhew
    • Ashlin Treesa Jacob 2 years ago
      Ashlin Treesa Jacob
    • Ashlin Treesa Jacob
      2 years ago

      Hi, I am an Indian student currently looking out for the nursing course(3 years, full time). I am not settled ... read more

      • You should always research this deeply yourself, but our understanding is that, to be eligible for an NHS bursary to finance your studies you must have been living in the UK for 3 years. There are exc... read more

        You should always research this deeply yourself, but our understanding is that, to be eligible for an NHS bursary to finance your studies you must have been living in the UK for 3 years. There are exceptions, but for that level of detail you should check the UK Government website to see if you fulfil any of those requirements.
        read less

        Replied by: Matt Farrah
    • Philip Terrell 2 years ago
      Philip Terrell
    • Philip Terrell
      2 years ago

      Hello, I want to study one of the new blended Adult nursing degrees with Sunderland University,(3 years, full time). I ... read more

      • Hi Philip. We don't know this level of detail about student tuition funding. I suggest speaking to Sunderland University's admissions department.

        Replied by: Matt Farrah
    • Matt Farrah 2 years ago
      Matt Farrah
    • Matt Farrah
      2 years ago

      A few people have asked us whether bursaries apply to courses taken with the Open University. It's a great question ... read more

      • Thank you for posting a response Matt :)

        Replied by: Jemma Syms
    • Bronte Armstrong 2 years ago
      Bronte Armstrong
    • Bronte Armstrong
      2 years ago

      Have you heard any more information regarding whether the bursary applies to people undergoing their Nursing degree with the Open ... read more

      • Hi Bronte. The OU have got back to us which is great. I posted their reply as a comment above.

        Replied by: Matt Farrah
    • Jemma Syms 2 years ago
      Jemma Syms
    • Jemma Syms
      2 years ago

      Does the bursary apply to people undertaking an Open University course in nursing?

      • Funnily enough someone else asked us this last week. We've asked the OU this question directly a few days ago and are awaiting an answer. We'll post it here when we get it.

        Replied by: Matt Farrah
    • Jan Vincent De Guzman 2 years ago
      Jan Vincent De Guzman
    • Jan Vincent De Guzman
      2 years ago

      Hi, Im from Nothern Ireland and I do a nursing degree in University of Glasgow but I was told I ... read more

      • Hi Jan. This sounds like a frustrating situation. The official line is that to be eligible for an NHS bursary you need to have been living in the UK for three years up to the start of the academic yea... read more

        Hi Jan. This sounds like a frustrating situation. The official line is that to be eligible for an NHS bursary you need to have been living in the UK for three years up to the start of the academic year. So, you seem to meet that requirement. Obviously, we're not the people you need to be talking to and we'd recommend you push and find out what's going on. You could start here: www. nhsbsa. /nhs-bursary-students(the link won't appear properly, but you can work out where I'm linking to). Good luck. Matt
        read less

        Replied by: Matt Farrah
    • Josiah Adesuyi 2 years ago
      Josiah Adesuyi
    • Josiah Adesuyi
      2 years ago

      Hi. I'm an international student from Africa with an offer to study Nursing. Am I eligible for the new £5000 ... read more

      • No, I'm afraid not Josiah. The official line is: "To be eligible to apply for an NHS bursary you must have been living in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for 3 years up to the start of ... read more

        No, I'm afraid not Josiah. The official line is: "To be eligible to apply for an NHS bursary you must have been living in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for 3 years up to the start of the academic year." If you search for NHSBSA student services you will find more information about bursaries there.
        read less

        Replied by: Matt Farrah
    • Rosalie Burke 2 years ago
      Rosalie Burke
    • Rosalie Burke
      2 years ago

      Can non-resident UK nationals receive starting a nursing degree and classified as a home student access the nursing bursary?

      • Hi Rosalie, Please have a look at https:// /nhs-bursaries/eligibility for information on eligibilty for bursaries. You might also find https:// /student-finance/nhs-bursaries.html useful. Rich - N... read more

        Hi Rosalie, Please have a look at https:// /nhs-bursaries/eligibility for information on eligibilty for bursaries. You might also find https:// /student-finance/nhs-bursaries.html useful. Rich - Niche Jobs Ltd.
        read less

        Replied by: Richard Gill
    • T K 2 years ago
      T K
    • T K
      2 years ago

      Can new students going into nursing in 2021 apply to the grant or do you apply during the academic year? ... read more

      • Yes, we believe you apply before the academic year. We'll find out more specific information and details and post them here.

        Replied by: Matt Farrah

        Yes, it does seem that, generally, students are always advised to apply for grants before they begin their course. However, it's clear that there is some discretion currently with so many schedules mo... read more

        Yes, it does seem that, generally, students are always advised to apply for grants before they begin their course. However, it's clear that there is some discretion currently with so many schedules moving around because of the pandemic. Hope this helps.
        read less

        Replied by: Matt Farrah