Nurses: Training

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 1st February 2018.

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Photo of Liz McInnes Liz McInnes Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of the replacement with loans of the nurse training bursary on the number of applications from mature students in the last 12 months.

Photo of Steve Barclay Steve Barclay Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

The Government published a consultation response and Equality Analysis on the 21 July 2016. These documents provide the assessment of the potential effect of the replacement of National Health Service bursaries by student loans for all the protected characteristics of the Public Sector Equality Duty (Section 149 of the Equality Act 2010).

Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) application data showed that the number of English-domiciled students aged 21 and above applying for nursing and midwifery courses1 in 2017 was 24,160; applicant numbers were 28% lower than in 2016.

UCAS’s end-of-cycle data showed the number of acceptances of students aged 21 and above to nursing and midwifery in England in 2017 was 13,025; this is similar to acceptance numbers in 2014 and 2015.

A number of provisions have been made to support all pre-registration nursing, midwifery and allied health profession students. These include child dependents allowance, travel and dual accommodation support and an exceptional hardship fund in certain circumstances.

Developing new work based routes into nursing is a priority for the Department. That is why we have developed the new nursing associate role and Nursing Degree Apprenticeship which will open up routes into the registered nursing profession for thousands of people from all backgrounds and allow employers to grow their own workforce. There are currently 2,000 Nursing Associates in training on 35 Health Education England Pilots, due to complete and become qualified in 2019.


1It should be noted that the information provided is for nursing and midwifery as UCAS’s published data does not separate out the two courses.

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