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Bursary funding for student nurses in Scotland announced

The Scottish government has announced its bursary funding plans for the country’s nursing students.

Nursing and midwifery students will be eligible for £6,578 annually, from 2016/17, as a “non-income-assessed personal allowance” from the start of their course.

In an information booklet, the government also set out additional allowances including £2,640 for a spouse or cohabitating partner, £2,640 for the first child where there is no dependant husband, wife or other dependant adult, and £557 for each other dependant child.

Single parents are also granted an allowance of £1,303 and up to £1,216 for registered childcare costs.

The new scheme also provides allowances for disabled students, including up to £1,725 a year for any small items of equipment or consumables and up to £20,520 a year for non-medical personal help.

The bursary will also allow students to receive funding if they go on maternity leave and will cover “some extra travel and reasonable accommodation costs” during their clinical placement.

The announcement follows the scrapping of student nurse bursaries in England from August 2017, which will see students forced to take out student loans.

However, at the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) congress in June, Nicola Sturgeon pledged to protect these bursaries in Scotland.

She said at the time: “Unlike the UK Government, we recognise the role and contribution of student nurses and the demands that you face.

“We know that nursing students can be older, or have children or specific needs, and their university education can place different demands on them.

“I want to confirm to you today, and this is a guarantee, here is Scotland we will retain free tuition and we will retain the bursary.”