- 18 December 2019
- 4 min read
Student nurses will receive £5000 per year from Sept 2020
The Government has this morning announced it will pay student nurses at least £5000 per year. They do not need to pay it back but it does not cover tuition fees.
Funding to start for nurses and midwives from Sept 2020
Student nurses will receive additional support of at least £5,000 a year to help with living costs while they study.
The funding will be given to all new and continuing degree-level nursing, midwifery and many allied health students from September 2020.
It is expected to benefit more than 35,000 students every year.
The funding comes as part of the government’s pledge to increase nurse numbers by 50,000 over the next 5 years.
Students will receive at least £5,000 a year, with up to £3,000 further funding available for eligible students, including for:
• specialist disciplines that struggle to recruit, including mental health
• an additional childcare allowance, on top of the £1,000 already on offer
• areas of the country which have seen a decrease in people accepted on some nursing, midwifery and allied health courses over the past year
Closing date for UCAS applications is January 15th 2020. We have a list of university courses offering nursing degrees, and university courses offering midwifery degrees.
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Some students could be eligible for £8000 per year - and it is NOT a loan
This means that some students could be eligible for up to £8,000 per year, with everyone getting at least £5,000. The funding will be available from next year. Further details on who can access the support will be available in early 2020.
The funding will not have to be repaid by recipients. Students will also be able to continue to access funding for tuition and maintenance loans from the Student Loans Company.
Biggest recruitment drive in decades
The announcement comes alongside the latest push in the biggest nursing recruitment drive in decades, with a campaign boost ahead of the UCAS deadline for university applications on 15 January 2020.
The NHS ‘We Are the NHS, We Are Nurses’ campaign, backed by the Health Secretary, targets teenagers who are about to choose their degrees as well as career switchers considering going into nursing.
The measures will be part of the upcoming NHS People Plan, which will set out work to reduce vacancies across the NHS and secure the staff needed for the future.
Government living up to election pledge
As part of a wider drive to make sure the NHS continues to have the staff it needs to meet demand, the government has also confirmed that it will carry out an urgent review of the pensions annual allowance taper problem.
This issue has caused some doctors to turn down extra shifts for fear of high tax bills.
Treasury and health ministers will meet the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and the British Medical Association as part of this review and the government will continue to hear evidence from other relevant professional bodies. The review will report at Budget.
Part of Boris Johnson's £33.9bn NHS pledge
The government is also increasing day-to-day NHS funding so that by 2023 to 2024 it will receive an extra £33.9 billion a year to deliver the NHS Long Term Plan.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“I have heard loud and clear that the priority of the British people is to focus on the NHS – and to make sure this treasured institution has everything it needs to deliver world-class care.
“Nurses epitomise everything that makes the NHS so revered across the world – skill, compassion, energy and dedication.
“On the steps of Downing Street last week, I said we will deliver 50,000 more nurses, and this new financial support package is a crucial part of delivering this.
“There can be no doubting our commitment to the NHS, and over the coming months we will bring forward further proposals to transform this great country.”
'Biggest recruitment drive in decades'
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said:
“The NHS is there for all of us in our time of need, thanks to the skill, dedication and compassion of its staff. I know from my Grandma, who worked nights as a nurse, just how compassionate and hard-working our nurses are.
“As we enter the Year of the Nurse and Midwife, we are embarking on the biggest nursing recruitment drive in decades, backed by a new universal support package.
“We want every person considering this incredible career to apply for their university place before the UCAS deadline of 15 January, safe in the knowledge they will benefit from this financial support from the start of the next academic year.
“This £2 billion plus package builds on the government’s ongoing work to increase the number of places for students and is central to its commitment to deliver 50,000 more nurses on our wards.
“At the same time we are also urgently reviewing the pensions issue senior clinicians have told us is having a direct impact on them, so we have the staff we need to deliver the care patients deserve.”
RCN welcome the news
Royal College of Nursing general secretary Dame Donna Kinnair welcomed the grant as “a first victory for the campaign that our student nurses are running”.
“This announcement will hopefully encourage more people to apply to a nursing degree by the mid-January deadline,” she added.
“In the run up to the Budget, we continue to call for our students to not pay tuition fees up front. Any barriers for people wanting to enter nursing must be removed.”
Labour’s shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth welcomed the Tory reversal, but called for further funding.
“While it is good to see that they have U-turned on their terrible policy position, nurses have called for additional funding to cover tuition fees too, not just living costs as the Tories promised in their manifesto,” he said.
Caroline Lucas - tuition fees not covered
Caroline Lucas, Green Party MP, said: "The scrapping of the nursing bursary was one of the Tories' meanest, most short-sighted decisions. This new £5,000 grant for student nurses doesn’t restore the bursary as it doesn’t cover tuition.
"It’s the Tories taking with 2 hands & giving back with one."