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Contracts honoured for Covid-19 response nursing students

It has been confirmed that Nursing Students who volunteered to undertake paid placements as part of the Covid-19 response will be fully paid until their contract ends.

In March, paid placements were announced as part of the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It meant nursing students would be paid from April if they chose to finish their programmes on extended clinical placements.

From August onwards, all new unpaid placements will be supernumerary, meaning that they are not counted as part of the staffing required for safe and effective care in that setting.

Health Education England (HEE) guidance states any student in the last six months of their programme on paid placement will be fully paid until the end of their contract, unless voluntarily ended by the student themselves.

The HEE guidance also stated:

  • Any paid placements must begin by 31 July. After this date, no new paid placements can be created.
  • From 31 July, HEE will begin to return to the supernumerary placement system for those students continuing their studies. After 31 July onwards and into the new academic year, any new placements will be supernumerary.
  • Employers and approved education institutions should work with students in year two or the first part of their final year to aim to bring paid placements to a close no later than 31 August. This will be part of a voluntary learning agreement between student, placement provider and education institution.

RCN students committee chair Jessica Sainsbury said nursing students on these placements would feel ‘reassured’ by the news.