Thousands of student nurses have chosen to join frontline staff to help tackle the coronavirus outbreak.
Health Education England has announced that 5,553 students from 35 universities had signed up to a paid placement as of Friday.
HEE chief nurse Mark Radford said: ‘This tells you a lot of about the fantastic attitude and dedication of our future registered nurses. My heartfelt thanks to everyone who is helping with this effort.’
Trainee nurses in the final six months of their programme can complete the remainder of their course as a paid placement to help tackle Covid-19.
The Nursing and Midwifery Council has also said second-year and final-year students not in their last six months can choose to spend 80% of their hours in a paid clinical placement.
Universities have been asked to prioritise contacting third-year nursing students in the final six months of their course.
All second- and third-year undergraduate nursing students, second- and third-year midwifery students, and postgraduate nursing and midwifery students will soon be contacted by their university to discuss their options.
In addition, the nursing regulator has said a temporary part of the register for student nurses could be launched, depending on the severity and duration of the outbreak.
Currently, there is no temporary register for student nurses. Second- and third-year student nurses can opt to help tackle the outbreak by undertaking paid placements.
HEE is keeping a record of student nurses who opt to take an extended paid placement.
Figures published yesterday show there are 47,806 coronavirus cases in the UK and 4,934 people have died.