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Credit crunch forces student nurses to seek second job, says RCN survey

  • 17 Comments

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.

Credit crunch

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.

  • 17 Comments

Readers' comments (17)

  • I'm a Student Nurse with a young family, mortgage, debts and I have just left a £16000 job to start nurse training with a bursery of £6400. My husband works but the way things are going I really do think that I may have to leave as there is no way I am going to be able to provide for my family for three years on that much money. I can thoroughly understand why many of the younger students are leaving as debts rise.

    Everyone says that in hospitals Student Nurses are classed higher than Health Care assistants but we get half the money they do, can someone please explain. I really do think that having a proper realistic bursery really would increase the amount of nurses qualifying.

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  • At present I am struggling to survive with the bursary I recieved. I appreciated it a lot, but as a full time student with responsibilities it can do but very little. I am now under a vast amount of pressure trying to cope with my financial situation. Before I first started my studies I was employed, after starting my studies I had to give it upbecause of stressed working and studying. Stopped working cause me to be even more stressed. Increasing the bursary to at least £1000, this would be much better.

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  • INCREASE THE BURSARY TO AT LEAST £1000 PER MONTH WOULD BE MUCH BETTER.

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  • I am a second year student nurse who has to work a second job. I live with my partner and have no dependants. Although alot of people say how its harder for people with children that is not always the case. I am not entitled to most of the help available for someone with dependants, although i still have to run my home car etc. Leaving the course has crossed my mind many times now more than ever, due to my partner losing his job. Even though we are only just struggling through on my wage alone! extra help is not available for me. We are supposed to be highly valued as we are learning the up to date information and techniques although untrained N/A's or HCA's get paid double what i am on! most of the students are not asking for lots of money but what most of us get is unliveable. The fact universitys expect us not to work over a 10hours per week is unrealistic as in order to survive what else do they expect us to do.

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  • It is time to bring back student nurses being paid monthly for the work they do, academically and during work placements. Student Nurses should be paid an AfC band - surely a national job description can be formulated which would band the students work accordingly with yearly increments as they progress through training knowledge and practice.

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  • We have just got an email from our uni stating that we are not allowed to be in pad employement, and that it could lead to disciplinaries.
    i am 20yrs old, and i am single, and i can barely cope with the £544 a month, i wanted to have be a ''student'' but i can't live in halls on campus because we get the least amount of holiday p/year, i would have to stay in the most expensive hall (£99 p/w). i do risk working at the local hospital on bank, but when i do, i notice that the quality of my work and the focus towards my work dramatically decreases.
    i think we need to be on at least £900 p/month to put our all into this.
    i think the bursary will go up, but it will be when we are all qualified and have our debt!

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  • you shopuld contact the NMC as I think they have a view on this

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  • Us ''untrained'' NA's/HCA's get paid more that students, because hey...were there full time!! Students don't have to do a 14hr shift with no break like we do every week.
    I'm on £12393, and I'm sorry that's still under inflation. I agree the nursing bursary should be more, however there's always secondment. Our trust has secondment's and you can do overtime if you wish. The nursing bursary is still a lot more than any other course, which is why it is probably overlooked.

    And I really wish some nurses would appreciate us NA's. We all have to start somewhere. And not all of us can go to straight to Uni.

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  • Us ''untrained'' NA's/HCA's get paid more that students, because hey...were there full time!! Students don't have to do a 14hr shift with no break like we do every week.
    I'm on £12393, and I'm sorry that's still under inflation. I agree the nursing bursary should be more, however there's always secondment. Our trust has secondment's and you can do overtime if you wish. The nursing bursary is still a lot more than any other course, which is why it is probably overlooked.

    And I really wish some nurses would appreciate us NA's. We all have to start somewhere. And not all of us can go to straight to Uni.

    You made a choice and you knew how much the bursary was. I'm waiting on a secondment as that's the best choice I can see.

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  • I am a seconded student. My wages were dropped to 80% when I started training which is around 800 per month. Living in London I still have to work every weekend to top that up.

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