They must also buy new uniforms if they no longer fit for other reasons, such as putting on weight.
Gail Adams, Unison head of nursing, said: ‘I have never heard anything so ridiculous.
Pregnant student nurses are required to carry on working on the wards and to tell them to buy their own uniforms is frankly disgraceful, not to say illegal.
'UNISON is calling for an urgent meeting with Staffordshire University to force them into dropping this Dickensian behaviour. It is the responsibility of every university to provide personal protective clothing for all students, including those who fall pregnant during their studies.’
However the university defended its uniform policy, which funds six tunics and three pairs of trousers, tailor-made for each student at the start of the course.
Paddy O’Luanaigh, facility director of recruitment and partnership, said the university is concerned that issuing second-hand uniforms to nursing students would undermine the professional look required from all students on the course.
‘We are concerned that nurses have the right uniforms and that nursing students should look their best,’ said Mr O’Luanaigh.
The university has promised to review the matter once it receives written evidence from Unison detailing individual cases.