Applications for the new NHS Learning Support Fund will open on 1 July 2020.
Nursing students in England will soon be able to apply for a grant of up to £8,000 a year to help with living costs.
Student healthcare professionals on or continuing approved courses from September 2020 will be eligible to receive a non-repayable grant from the NHS Learning Support Fund (NHS LSF). Students repeating aspects of their course not be eligible for funding.
While all eligible students will receive at least £5,000, those joining an undersubscribed discipline such as mental health nursing will receive an additional £1,000 and those with childcare responsibilities can apply for an additional £2,000.
An additional one-off grant of up to £3,000 each academic year is also available for students who find themselves in unforeseen financial hardship.
The funding comes as part of the government’s controversial pledge to increase nurse numbers by 50,000 over the next 5 years after numbers dramatic fell following the removal of the bursary by the Government in 2015.
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has previously welcomed the move but believes further measures are needed to address the shortage of 43,000 nurses throughout the NHS in England as students will remain subject to the same tuition fees and maintenance loans – meaning they could graduate with up to £60,000 in student loan debt.
A continual flow of income.
The NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) has announced that applications will open on 1 July 2020.
Louisa Ruman, Head of Student Services at NHS Business Services Authority, who administer the funding on behalf of the Department of Health and Social Care, said: “We’re delighted to be able to provide the updated NHS Learning Support Fund for healthcare students.
“We have worked in close collaboration with our colleagues at the Department of Health and Social Care to provide a new and improved application system to make it as easy as possible for students to apply for funding.
“Once students have been approved, payments will be scheduled in-between their student loan payments. In doing so, we wanted to provide students with a continual flow of income to try and ease some of the financial concerns students face while at university.
“It’s vitally important to us that we do all we can to support our future NHS workforce and we hope this system will provide quick and easy access to much needed funding.
“I’d encourage anyone thinking about applying to read the guidance which can be found on our website at www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/LSF.”