Commenting on the announcement made by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon of increases in the SNP Government’s bursary for nursing and midwifery students, Theresa Fyffe, Director of RCN Scotland, the world’s largest professional organisation and trade union for nursing staff said:
“The RCN has been fighting for fairer funding for student nurses and midwives. The SNP Government has listened to those calls and has responded with a bursary which will truly support students whilst they study.
“The increased bursary is an important step in valuing those who choose to nurse and in making nursing an attractive career.
“All of the nursing students who will benefit from this new bursary will enter the profession with one aim – to provide safe, high quality care for each and every one of their patients. To make that a reality, the RCN will continue to work with the SNP Government on staffing challenges so that nurses feel valued and listened to throughout their career. Today’s announcement is a clear and welcome indication from the SNP Government that it is listening to the needs of nursing.”
Kenneth Gibson MSP added:
“Attracting and retaining nurses and midwives is a constant challenge, with patient demand increasing year on year.
“Nurses and midwives already earn more than their equivalents south of the border. These bursary increases prove how much we value student nurses and midwives too.”
The Nursing and Midwifery Student Bursary (NMSB) provides financial support to eligible (Scottish domiciled) student nurses and midwives studying in Scotland.
The core NMSB, which is non-means tested and non-repayable, is currently £6,578. This academic year, the bursary will increase for care experienced student nurses and midwives to £8,100.
Next academic year, the bursary for all student nurses and will rise to £8,100 per year.
From academic year 2020/21 the nursing and midwifery bursary will be £10,000 per year.