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Student nurses join the fight against COVID-19 as temporary register swells

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Student nurses Almost 18,000 student nurses have volunteered for frontline duties

Health Education England (HEE) and the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) have reported huge numbers of volunteers from groups of nursing and midwifery professionals to join the frontline during the pandemic.

Health Education England has now received almost 18,000 student nurse and midwife volunteers to join the frontline in combating COVID-19, according to Vicki Diaz, Senior Communications Manager for HEE. Additionally, the NMC temporary register has now reached over 10,000 registrations from former nurses and midwives and overseas registrants.

‘It is truly humbling to see so many students choosing to support the profession. It shows just how much support our fabulous nursing teams do have across the country,’ said Professor Mark Radford, Chief Nurse with HEE. He went on to thank those who have registered, commenting ‘Our student nurses are such valued members of the profession and deserve our gratitude for wanting to join, study and be part of our future, irrespective of their choice to join the frontline early. I cannot thank you all enough’.

HEE has provided guidance to nursing and midwifery students, to ensure that proper standards of care are maintained and the requirements for registration are clear.

This guidance states, among other requirements, that students must be supervised any time they are working by an NMC registered healthcare professional who is not on a temporary register and that no student should carry out any activity in which they have not been assessed as competent and signed off during training. According to this guidance, students will be deployed to organisations where they
have previously undertaken clinical placement, wherever this is possible.

The COVID-19 temporary register that was set up by the NMC has also seen a phenomenal response from nurses and midwives who have left the service within the last 4–5 years and those who are overseas registrants.

‘Thank you to everyone who has signed up to our temporary register. To see almost 11,000 people join is truly phenomenal and I’m very grateful to everyone who has answered our call’, said Andrea Sutcliffe CBE, the NMC Chief Executive and Registrar.

‘I know we are asking a lot. These are difficult times, but we really need the skill, care and compassion nurses and midwives bring to help keep the nation safe’.

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