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Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 February 2006, 09:03 GMT
Scots student nurses 'drop out'
Unions called for more support for student nurses
Unions called for more support for student nurses
Scotland has one of the highest drop out rates amongst student nurses in the UK, according to new figures.

Data obtained by Nursing Standard magazine under the Freedom of Information Act, showed 29% dropped out between 2000 and 2004.

The magazine requested attrition data from all 83 institutions across the UK, though not all institutions questioned provided figures.

Unions called for better financial support for students.

Across the UK as many as a quarter of student nurses quit their course before qualifying, the figures suggested.

Some courses have a drop-out rate as high as 50%, the magazine said.

It calculated that the failure of students to see out their course costs the NHS around 57m, based on each nurse costing about 11,500 a year to train.

Childcare issues

The government called the figures "rough estimates" that significantly exaggerated the problem.

There are no official figures as organisations collect data in different ways.

Jane McCready, the Scotland board chair of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), said she was not convinced that Scotland was worse than the rest of the UK but it was something that needed to be looked into.

She said student nurses did have financial difficulties and were unable to take part-time jobs to support themselves because the courses and placements took 45 weeks a year.

She said: "We need more support for the nurses, more input into childcare. The majority of student nurses nowadays do have childcare issues.

"The average age of our students now is 29 which means that they do have childcare issues."

Watch a report on why rates are rising

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