20 February 2019

"Bring back the nursing bursary!"


In the week Janet Davies, RCN Chief Executive, coined the removal of the nursing bursary a ‘disaster’, it was reported that nursing applications have decreased by 13,000 since 2016, the last year students received the bursary. 

In response, on Friday 15th February, we reached out to our Facebook followers and asked: ‘What do you think would encourage more people into the profession?’ 

The post was inundated with responses.

Here is what our Facebook followers had to say about the student bursaries being forfeited...

Kate Hayward: “The bursary being returned. Being a student nurse is not the same as being an 'ordinary' student and that bursary is often the only way student nurses manage financially.”

Sophie Martin: “I think it’s shocking they got rid of the bursary. I graduate this year and if it wasn’t for the bursary I definitely would not have managed financially with a two-year-old who I had mid-way into the course. this was also on top of working 18hrs a week even when on placement. So placement weeks your talking 50hr weeks ... It’s not easy in the slightest.”

Lyndzey Tomlin: “Allowing NVQ’s to count towards UCAS would be a mighty fine start! Most people wanting to go into nursing are the people working in healthcare already.”

Esther Portlock: “Bring back the bursary. Student nurses must clock up hours of unpaid shifts.” 

Melissa Louise: “I study in Wales so I receive the bursary. I still have to work as well so I can’t imagine how people manage without. Don’t understand why they would remove it when students have to work 2300 hours over three years for free.”

Dot Griffiths: “The only way my daughter got her nursing degree was because I worked and paid her rent and her car that facilitated her being able to do her 2300 free hours for the NHS.”

Hannah Campbell: “Bring back the bursary!”

Sarah Hitchcox: “Student nurses should have the bursary back and where have all the nursing colleges and accommodation gone?”

Brian Webster: “Better pay once qualified.”

Louise Helyer-Jackson: “The bursary... Enough said.”

Tracey Sleeman: “Go back to paying the bursary!”

Newcross Healthcare Assistant, Ricky Baker, reached out and told us how he and his peers are feeling the pressure as a result of losing the bursary. 

“I love being a student nurse, I have met so many amazing people working within the NHS, all passionate about what they do. However, with the axe of the NHS Bursary, student nurses now face many barriers that affect the overall learning experience. 

“To meet the progression outcomes throughout our training, student nurses are frequently required to demonstrate progress towards working independently. As such, we regularly do tasks for many of the nurses on the ward such as observations, when deemed competent by our mentor to carry out these tasks independently. Whilst carrying out such tasks is a great learning opportunity, helping to develop our skills and understanding, it could be interpreted by many to be ‘free labour’. 

“The NMC requires student nurses to have clinical experience in the form of placements for 37.5 hours a week. In addition to this, many student nurses, like myself work part time to be able to pay the costs of travel to and from placement, not forgetting the extortionate parking charges when we get there. This leaves little money left from our part-time jobs to pay for housing, bills, let alone food on the table. 

“There is much focus within the NHS around health promotion, but with being on placement, working part-time and evidencing the work we do around this, the health and wellbeing of student nurses is becoming increasingly compromised. Therefore, health promotion for student nurses needs to be addressed as a matter of priority, recognising the stresses of workload and financial worries student nurses now currently face, before it has a negative impact on our mental health.”

Newcross Healthcare is committed to supporting all student nurses in its employment. All healthcare staff choose their own shifts by allocating their availability via the HealthForceGo® app.  

If you are a student looking to 'earn while you learn', and feel as though you would benefit from 'same day pay', choosing your own shifts and having access to training, feel free to apply today. 

Thank you to everyone who responded in this week's Facebook #NXdebate.