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11.08.20

RCN welcomes additional funding but calls for further support

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has welcomed the extra funding for nursing apprenticeships announced by the Prime Minister, but have said more still needs to be done to achieve the Government’s ambitious target of 50,000 new nursing staff.

Extra government funding will see the number of apprenticeships increase to 2,000 per year in England over the next four years – up from around 1,000 per year presently.

While the RCN welcomed the move to help support increasing the nursing workforce, it has similarly reiterated calls for an end to self-funded tuition fees and reintroduction of a universal maintenance grant for all nursing students in order to fill the thousands of nursing vacancies across England.

Apprenticeships typically take four years to complete, compared to three years for a full-time nursing degree.

Mike Adams, Royal College of Nursing Director for England, said: “This increase in places is a welcome step and we hope it will make a career in nursing more accessible for those fortunate enough to secure a place.

“It does, however, fall short of the wider investment needed to educate enough registered nurses for the future, ensuring health and care services have the staff needed.

“The full-time three-year nursing degree remains the best way to increase domestic nursing supply at the scale and pace needed.

“The government must abolish self-funded tuition fees for all nursing students as well as introducing universal living maintenance grants that reflect actual student need if it is truly committed on delivering the 50,000 more nurses they promised.”

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