Statement: Principles for nursing and midwifery students during the next phase of the Covid-19 pandemic

Published on 23 November 2020

Read the joint statement

As the COVID-19 pandemic progresses to a second wave across the UK, students have been asking for clarity on how government guidance impacts them.

We want to continue to support students to successfully complete their programmes on time.

We appreciate that practice placements will be under increased pressure. A number of the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s (NMC) standards for education and training have already been amended to provide greater flexibility for education and healthcare providers. This has allowed them to adopt innovative ways of providing practice placements in these challenging times.

At the current time it is not planned to return to the previous emergency standards, so we are maintaining the supernumerary status for all students.

This means that students are not being deployed into paid placements as was the case earlier in the year. Each of the four countries will be reviewing how we can support final year students who have completed their programme hours and course requirements to become employed as fully registered nurses and midwives as quickly as possible.

We will continue to monitor the situation to determine whether the implementation of further changes may be necessary. Any such changes will be developed in collaboration with key partners, and our priority will be to keep students fully informed about these.

We would like to take this opportunity to reiterate our thanks to all of you for your continuing commitment during this time. We will all continue to work collaboratively in order to find the best possible solutions that support students, nursing and midwifery professionals, and the public.

Yours sincerely,

Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer, England
Charlotte McArdle, Chief Nursing Officer, Northern Ireland
Fiona McQueen, Chief Nursing Officer, Scotland
Jean White, Chief Nursing Officer, Wales
Andrea Sutcliffe, Chief Executive and Registrar, NMC

Further information

For more detailed information and guidance about students please see the following resources:

Download the signed statement on principles for nursing and midwifery students during the next phase of the COVID-19 pandemic

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