First Minister visits University as new funding for student nurses announced

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon at Sighthill campus as Scottish Government announces an extra £3m to support student nurses

Date posted

25 January 2017


Last updated

16 July 2021

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon visited Edinburgh Napier’s Sighthill campus today as the Scottish Government announced an extra £3m to support student nurses.

The First Minister met student nurses in the University’s Simulation and Clinical Skills Centre as she confirmed an increase in financial support for nursing and midwifery students with dependents to help parents and carers into the workforce.

The First Minister said: “Nurses and midwives play a vital role in Scotland – demonstrating amazing dedication, commitment and professionalism on a daily basis.

“The improved financial support for students with responsibility for a child or a family member can help these students overcome some of the barriers to pursuing a career in nursing or midwifery and is based on what students have told us about the challenges they face.”

After meeting nursing students and academics, she went on praise the facilities at Edinburgh Napier:

“I’ve been in other simulation clinics and was always really impressed, but this one is particularly good. The state-of-the-art equipment in here I think is excellent. You know from speaking to the student nurses here, that what they’re getting from the ability to carry out procedures on mannequins that are very, very lifelike but obviously without the risks involved with a normal patient, is hugely invaluable to them. This kind of facility is helping us train really high-quality nurses of the future.

“Healthcare is changing and the way that health professionals work has to change too. That underlines the importance of making sure that the training and the facilities and the education that we’re providing for student nurses is state of the art and reflecting that changing pattern of healthcare.”

The Scottish Government has worked with students, unions and professional bodies to review how the nursery and midwifery bursary works. The new measures announced have been informed by that review and will come into effect from 2017/18, and follow the setting up last year of a new hardship fund to provide a safety net for students most in need. 

Proposals to enhance and improve support for nursing and midwifery students from 2018/19 will be published later in the year.

What exactly is the new funding?

Enhancements to financial support for 2017/18 academic year, in addition to the standard Nursing & Midwifery Student Bursary:

  • Single Parents' Allowance to be increased by £1,000 – from £1,303 to £2,303 per academic year
  • Childcare Allowance to be increased by £1,250 – up to  £1,216 is available currently to meet the costs of registered childcare, this will increase to £2,466 per year 
  • Dependents' Allowance to be increased by £1,000 per year - maximum amounts that eligible students can receive through this income based allowance are currently:
    • £2,640 for a spouse or cohabiting partner 
    • £2,640 for the first child where there is no dependent husband or wife, or other dependent adult
    • £557 for each other dependent child.
    • The maximum available for the first dependent will increase to £3,640

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