This site is intended for healthcare professionals only

Scottish government to increase student places by more than 10%

Written by: | Published:

The Scottish government is funding a 10.8% rise in the number of degree programmes for nurses and midwives

Scotland is to see the number of training places for nurses and midwives increase by 360, it was announced today.

The devolved government is to fund an increase of 10.8% in the number degree programmes for nurses and midwives. The health secretary, Shona Robison said the move would see the number of students entering the professions rise from 3360 to 3724.

Making the announcement while on a visit to Erskine Care Home to visit students on placement, she said: ‘This 10.8% increase - the sixth increase in a row - is just one step to sustain that into the future, ensuring we recruit and retain the next generation of staff.

‘We have retained bursaries and free tuition for nursing and midwifery students.

‘We intend to extend and increase successful initiatives, which bring former nurses and midwives back into practice. And we are improving access to education and careers in the professions.’

Responding to the news, Mary Ross-Davie, The Royal College of Midwives (RCM’s) Director for Scotland, said the RCM welcomed the response by the Scottish government, which she said would go some way in addressing current workforce issues.

‘This increase in student numbers, along with the commitment to sustaining and supporting return to practice programmes, the continued provision of bursary support for student midwives and the planned ongoing work in relation to widening access and routes into a midwifery career, are a positive response to the growing midwifery workforce issues across Scotland.’

She added that this ‘significant increase’ in student places is needed in order to ‘respond to the growing gap’ between midwives entering and leaving the profession in Scotland.

‘Over 40 percent of midwives in Scotland are now over the age of fifty and we are seeing a rapid rise in the number of retirals. We are also seeing younger midwives leaving midwifery, attracted by lower caseloads in other healthcare professions and, in some cases, better pay.’

Shona Robison said: ‘we are investing in the future of the NHS and are on track to deliver record numbers in training, ensuring we have the right staff, with the right skills, in the right place.’

Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Scotland associate director, Ellen Hudson, called the announcement a ‘move in the right direction’

‘We are pleased that the Scottish government has listened to our concerns and has recognised that in recent years Scotland has simply not been training enough nurses.’

What do you think? Leave a comment below or tweet your views to @IndyNurseMag

This material is protected by MA Healthcare Ltd copyright.
See Terms and Conditions.



Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.

Change the CAPTCHA codeSpeak the CAPTCHA code

Read a free issue from Practice Nursing

Register to read a free issue from our sister publication, Practice Nursing.

Including articles on asthma, diabetes and more. Read your copy.


Sign up to the newsletter


Independent Nurse is the professional resource for primary care and community nurses, providing clinical articles for practice nurses and prescribers.


Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date with the latest nursing news.

Stay Connected

Stay social with Independent Nurse by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook or connecting on LinkedIn.


Need access to some of our older articles? You can view our archive, or alternatively contact us.

Contact Us

MA Healthcare Ltd.
St Jude's Church, Dulwich Road
London, SE24 0PB

Tel: +44 (0)20 7738 5454
Registered in England and Wales No. 01878373

Meet the team


Find out how to contribute to Independent Nurse here.