Advice for Pre-registration Nursing Students

Information for Pre-registration Nursing Students from the School of Nursing.

  • I am worried that because of personal exposure or travel or illness, I am putting patients at risk. What should I do?

    If you need specific personal health advice specifically in relation to Covid-19 you should call the NHS 111 service or your GP.

    Please do not attend the GP or ED without phoning in advance.

    You should email the School following the usual procedures as outlined in your student handbook, which includes contacting the ward manager/team lead if you are in clinical practice.

    If advised that you do not need to be tested or to self-isolate, you should return to the course as soon as you are well and complete the normal self-certification process.

  • If I come into contact with someone who I suspect has Covid-19, or if I become unwell and need to self-isolate, who do I need to contact?

    If you need specific personal health advice specifically in relation to Covid-19 you should call the NHS 111 service or your GP.

    Please do not attend the GP or Emergency Department without phoning in advance.

    You should email the School following the usual procedures as outlined in your student handbook, which includes contacting the ward manager/team lead if you are in clinical practice.

    If advised that you do not need to be tested or to self-isolate, you should return to the course as soon as you are well and complete the normal self-certification process.

  • Will I receive face fit testing for masks, or training to wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?

    Students do not routinely get fitted for masks and given the current pressures within the NHS it is very unlikely that this could be introduced.

    Therefore it is unlikely students will be directly involved in the care of someone with suspected or proven Covid-19, and will be required to work in an area where they need to wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) or a mask.

    Should this change, students will be contacted directly.

  • Will Nursing students be drafted in to help deliver care and support trusts? Do I have to be involved in the care of someone with suspected Covid-19?

    The nature of professional courses is that students are increasingly involved in patient care, under supervision, as the course progresses.

    The School will continue to closely monitor the impact of Covid-19 on practice learning environments and ensure that in no circumstances will students be placed where they are inadequately supervised. Students are not anticipated to be involved in providing direct care to someone with suspected or proven Covid-19.

    Should this change, students will be advised directly.

  • Will Nursing & Midwifery students be withdrawn from placement areas where there are positive Covid-19 cases?

    Students should remain on their programme whenever possible.

    Students will not be directly involved in the care of someone with suspected or proven Covid-19.

    Where the situation is judged to be safe and appropriate, students may participate in the giving of care as long as an appropriate level of supervision depending on your stage of training is maintained.

    Should a clinical placement be considered unsuitable or unsafe, students will be removed from placement or reallocated to another area until it is considered safe for them to return.

  • If students need to self-isolate or are quarantined, will they be able to meet the attendance requirements of the course? What happens if they have to miss an exam?

    The school will apply the normal attendance procedures in the first instance for a 2 week absence.

    The normal attendance rules would apply as per the Nursing and Midwifery Council standards as outlined in your Student Handbook. Students should apply for exceptional circumstances if they need to miss exams.

    There is remedial time and repeat exams available for students in all years to make up for time they have missed through no fault of their own.

    The school will ensure that no student is academically disadvantaged as a result of self-isolation.

  • In some jurisdictions, students have been withdrawn from clinical placement all together. Are Ulster considering such action? Will students be able to progress?

    As it stands, there are no plans to withdraw Nursing & Midwifery students from clinical placement in Northern Ireland or anywhere else in the UK.

    The School is liaising with colleagues in the Public Health Agency and Nursing & Midwifery Council and will continue to monitor the situation closely.

    If, in the (unlikely) event that students were withdrawn from clinical placement for an extensive period of time, the school will through amendment to regulations or alternative means, ensure that no student is academically disadvantaged.

  • What about students considering international electives? Should they change their plans?

    Based on Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice students are not permitted to complete international electives in Category 1 countries available here, as the list of category 1 and 2 countries is changing rapidly, students considering such electives are advised to review the FCO advice frequently.

    Public Health England have mandated that any healthcare worker (including students) that has been in any type of healthcare setting in one of the listed category 2 countries should be excluded from the clinical workplace for a minimum of 14 days even if asymptomatic. Whilst this advice does not yet apply to Northern Ireland, it is likely that it will do soon.  So this needs to be considered when reviewing plans.

  • Will my bursary be affected if I have to self-isolate for two weeks?

    Your bursary will not be affected if self-isolating is instructed by the PHA or your GP.