Currently, emergency legislation is in place that means emergency standards from the NMC apply to all programmes. Under these standards, those in their final six months of their pre-registration nursing course can go on extended placement under a contract with the Health and Social Care Trusts.
Year two students are also out on similar placement under a contract.
Students had to option to opt in or out of these extended placements. Should the emergency be stood down, these extended placements will be reviewed by the Department of Health. In terms of caring for someone with Covid-19, those on placement may be involved in care of people with Covid-19 but not those in “red” areas in Trusts (e.g. critically ill patients).
For those who could not opt in to placement, and for year one students who could not go out on practice learning under the usual supervision and assessment arrangements, resumption of practice learning is currently being explored with our practice partners through the Department of Health.
Under the emergency standards, and as a result of ministerial decisions and consultation with the Chief Nursing Officers across the four countries of the UK, year one students did not progress to practice learning during the emergency period; as this progresses, this is being reviewed.
Year 2 and 3 students were able to progress to practice under extended placement and associated contracts; those who opted out of extended placement are being considered alongside year one students in terms of resuming practice learning with supernumerary status.
Based on Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice, non-essential travel outside of the UK is currently not permitted; this includes international electives. Additionally, many countries are also not accepting students for international electives at this time.