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New research highlights student nurse debt

15 June, 2016

New research highlights student nurse debt

Nursing Standard magazine has published research that says that millions of pounds have been paid to debt-ridden nursing students to prevent them dropping out of their university courses.

Data obtained under Freedom of Information by Nursing Standard reveals £5.2m in discretionary funding has been handed out to nursing students at 36 universities in England.

A total of 6573 nursing students accessed money from hardship grants between September 2013 to March 2016.

Unison head of nursing Gail Adams said the £5.2 million figure shows nursing students are not adequately funded.

'Most nursing students are living hand to mouth. Having access to hardship funds can make all the difference between them surviving or dropping out of their course.'

RCM director for policy, employment relations and communications Jon Skewes said: ‘We know from our own student midwife members that many already struggle to stay on midwifery degree courses because of financial pressures; indeed many leave altogether.

‘There is no doubt that the government’s plans to remove bursaries for student midwives and nurses will put even more financial pressure on them, for many years after they qualify. It will also deter many from entering training.

‘I repeat our call for the government to abandon their plans to scarp bursaries for student midwives and nurses.’

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