The questions and answers below provide information for nursing students in Scotland. With feedback on nursing student members’ experiences of studying during the pandemic, RCN Scotland has raised key issues with the Scottish Government and responses are included in these FAQs. We will continue to update our student members as further information becomes available.
Your views and experiences are a powerful tool in helping us to influence on your behalf to support nursing students. Please take a few minutes to share your experience of studying including clinical placements during the pandemic with the RCN Scotland easy to use SenseMaker tool to share your story. The process is quick and easy to use. Please be assured that your input is totally anonymous.
In January 2021, in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) announced the re-introduction of the emergency education standards to allow universities to implement paid placements for final-year nursing students where this was required locally. While these standards were UK wide, only England agreed to activate the option for offering final year student paid placements. At that time Scotland’s Chief Nursing Officer wrote an open letter to all nursing and midwifery students in Scotland making clear that full time-time student deployment was not considered appropriate in Scotland. The Scottish Government confirmed that the option of part time paid employment is available to healthcare students through NHS staff banks and is separate from programmes of study or placement. The NMC updated their position In May 2021 and the emergency standard to enable final year students to undertake paid clinical placements was removed. For more information see our COVID-19 advice for students.
The Scottish Government has committed to students retaining their supernumerary status and their position in the clinical area as learners, stating that priority will be given to ensuring the timely graduation of final year students.
The RCN remain clear that during the COVID-19 pandemic no student must be disadvantaged financially or suffer delays to their continuing education. All students must be adequately supported to complete academic studies and meet the NMC requirements relating to clinical practice hours taking cognisance of their individual circumstances.
Keep in touch via our RCN Scotland Student Facebook group for student members – search 'RCN Scotland Students' on Facebook and request to join.
We are working hard in these challenging times to keep you updated and if you can't find what you are looking for please see our Get help page or contact us and we will get back to you as soon as we can.