Recruiting Students into UNISON – Frequently Asked Questions

What does my student membership cost? 

Just £10 per year Included in that fee is: 

  • Access to UNISON student network 
  • 20% off Oxford University Press 
  • 40% off subscription to Nursing Times here 
  • UNISON membership deals – insurance, dental plans, holidays, cars 
  • Confidential and financial assistance from UNISON’s welfare charity ’There For You’ 
  • Professional Services Unit (PSU) - Specialist help for registered healthcare professionals, providing support and representation 


What do I pay if I am a trainee nurse associate? 

TNAs are EMPLOYED by the trust and are therefore not eligible for student membership 


What do I pay if I am an apprentice? 

Any apprentice earning the Government national minimum wage for apprentices, and any apprentice in the following categories will be entitled to pay the £10 per year rate:  

Intermediate (England)  

Modern apprenticeship (Scotland) 

Foundation apprenticeship (Cymru/Wales) 

Level 2  (N.Ireland) 

All other apprentices will pay the standard pay-related UNISON subscription rates. 


I am already a UNISON member – how do I transfer to a student? 

You can contact your branch using our branch finder or get in touch with UNISON Direct on 0800 0857 857.


I work bank/as a healthcare assistant to supplement my finances – do you cover me if something goes wrong? 

Yes, the fee provides cover and protection whilst on placement but also for any occasional work you carry out anywhere in the public sector, private that was traditionally public, and voluntary sector.  


If something does go wrong, who should I contact? 

You should contact your branch as soon as possible using our branch finder.


When I finish my studies, how do I become a full member? 

We will take care of that for you. We will transfer you into full membership unless you tell us you no longer want to be a member. We will communicate with you in plenty of time before we convert you to full membership. 


I have moved house/changed my email/place of work what do I need to do? 

It is important that you update your records as soon as possible following any change of status. You can do this online at My UNISON. 


Why should I join? 

Here are just a few reasons: 

  • There is a UNISON Branch in every employer which means there is always somebody on handUNISON provides protection whilst on placement and can assist with difficulties during your studies. 
  • When you are on placement, you are exposed to the same risks as colleagues you will be working alongside (needlestick injuries, complaints, problems with mentors/staff, abusive behaviour from patients) so you need someone to support you if things go wrong. 
  • UNISON invests in healthcare students: we recently introduced a national learning month in the autumn term and there is the option for you to get involved at regional level too. 
  • UNISON has a national network of student nurses and midwives. This video tells you more about why you should join UNISON and how the network operates.
  • We can help you understand where to access financial support and there is a range of membership benefits, UNISON discounts, and legal advice.