Nursing and midwifery students step up to join coronavirus workforce

Thousands offer their skills to support response.

More than 2,000 final year nursing and midwifery students have stepped forward to join the NHS Scotland workforce during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has praised the commitment and enthusiasm of those who are taking on frontline roles early, ahead of formally joining the workforce at the end of August.

So far around 12,000 students and returners from health and social care have come forward to offer their skills and expertise during the pandemic.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:

“We are asking a lot of nursing and midwifery students to step up at this unprecedented time when they have already experienced significant disruption as they come to the end of their courses. Their skills and experience will be vital in the coming months as we work to save as many lives as possible.

“Our response to the COVID-19 outbreak is going to require a huge effort across all areas of health and social care. It is still possible for others to offer their support, and if they are willing and able I would encourage them to do so.

“The commitment and enthusiasm of these volunteers, as with all of our NHS workers, deserves recognition and the gratitude of every one of us in Scotland.”

Chief Nursing Officer Fiona McQueen said:

“I want to thank each and every student who has volunteered their support so far. The response we have received shows the incredible spirit of our future NHS workforce – your dedication is truly inspirational.”


Payment arrangements for students joining the NHS Scotland workforce have been decided through the Scottish Terms and Conditions (STAC) committee.

Nursing and midwifery students being deployed in the final six months of their programme, or third year honours students in an equivalent position, will be paid at the first step of NHS band 4 (£22,700 per annum gross annual equivalent).  Students in their second year, or third year honours students not in the six months before potential registration, will be paid at the first step of NHS band 3 (£20,700 per annum gross annual equivalent). 

Eligible students will also continue to receive their full nursing and midwifery bursary of £8100 per annum.


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