STUDENT nurses who stepped up to help fight coronavirus in our hospitals will have their contracts terminated on July 31.

Health Education England (HEE) said any final year student who has been working in the NHS will receive funding until they complete their programme and then they will be able to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and apply for a permanent role as a registered nurse.

The organisation said it collaborated with the NMS and the Council of Deans (CoD) and unions on the contracts.

Year three students, providing they have completed hours and assessments, can qualify and be paid as a full registered nurses as well as move from band four to Band five pay grades.

Any year three student who has hours to complete will be paid until September to allow them to do this. Any year two students on placement will be paid and after this normal non-paid placements will be re-introduced along with year one students. 

But Labour's shadow health secretary felt students were being "cast aside" while the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) demanded "clarity".

Mike Adams, the director for England at the Royal College of Nursing, said: "We urge Health Education England and the NHS in England to offer some clarity for students about the way forward.

"The vital work student nurses have been doing throughout the pandemic has demonstrated the huge contribution nursing undergraduates make to our health and care services. The commitments they made should be honoured during any transition back to established programme structures.”

While Justin Madders MP, Labour's shadow health minister, said the commitment of students during the covid-19 crisis needs to be recognised.

He said: “Student nurses up and down the country have cut their studies short, and in some cases left other jobs, to go and work on the frontline as part of the national effort to combat coronavirus.

“Their personal commitment should be recognised and reciprocated by the Government. They do not deserve to be cast aside like this and ministers must explain exactly what is happening.”

HEE Chief Nurse Mark Radford said the work of student nurses had been "hugely appreciated" and that it is "untrue to suggest that student nurses and midwives are being made redundant".

"These placements are normally unpaid but to recognise the special circumstances and as part of the response to Covid-19 these hours have been paid and will be until the end of summer. NHS England has been provided with the funding for student salaries as part of the response to Covid," the chief said. 

It comes on the back of numerous calls for student nurses, midwives and paramedics to be thanked for their work by waiving fees. 

Almost 1,000 people have signed the petition by the Telegraph & Argus to scrap this year's tuition fees for student nurses.

You can still sign the petition here.

The Royal College of Nursing also wrote a letter to the Government demanding for all tuition fees for student nurses to be scrapped following their dedication during the pandemic.

Read more here: RCN backs T&A campaign