In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has announced emergency education standards to allow universities to implement paid placements for final-year nursing students where this is required locally. While the standards are UK wide, only England has agreed to activate the option for offering final-year student paid placements currently and this is only being implemented in certain locations depending on local circumstances and decisions.
Scotland’s Chief Nursing Officer has written an open letter to all nursing and midwifery students in Scotland making clear that full-time student deployment is not considered appropriate in Scotland at this point in time. The Scottish Government has confirmed that the option of part time paid employment is to be available to healthcare students through NHS staff banks. This is separate from programmes of study or placement.
The Scottish Government has committed to students retaining their supernumerary status and their position in the clinical area as learners. Priority will be given to ensuring the timely graduation of final-year students.
We remain clear that during the COVID-19 pandemic no student must be disadvantaged financially or suffer delays to their continuing education.
With feedback on nursing student members’ experiences of studying during the pandemic, RCN Scotland has raised key issues with the Scottish Government - a summary of responses is available here.
The questions and answers below provide information for nursing students in Scotland. We will continue to update our student members as further information becomes available.
You can also find more more information and about studying and working during the pandemic on our separate COVID-19 advice for students and our COVID-19 advice pages.
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.
Please take a few minutes to share your experience of studying during the pandemic with the RCN Scotland easy to use SenseMaker tool. Share your story and help inform our work to support students.
Keep in touch via our RCN Scotland Student Facebook group for student members – search 'RCN Scotland Students' on Facebook and request to join.