Almost three quarters of student nurses have had to get a second job so they could afford to study during the credit crunch, suggests an RCN survey.
Additionally, nearly half of the 4,500 student nurses who responded to the RCN’s survey said they have considered leaving their course altogether.
More than half of respondents said they were working more than ten hours a week in paid employment alongside their studies in order to make ends meet.
RCN general secretary Peter Carter said: ‘It’s clear that student nurses are struggling to keep their heads above water because they’re saddled with debt and the support on offer is far from ideal.
‘The government needs to introduce a liveable non-means tested bursary of £12,000 so that fees and spiralling living costs don’t stop nurses from staying the course, completing their studies and delivering high quality care for years to come,’ he said.
The survey follows a similar piece of research by Unison, published in September, which suggested 23% of student nurses had debts in excess of £10,000.