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Nurses feel credit crunch pain

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The credit crunch is having a catastrophic effect on nurses, according to the RCN.

Figures show a significant increase in the number of nurses using the college’s welfare service for debt advice.

On average they are dealing with 33 cases of severe debt, including eight repossessions – a 23% increase from last year.

Nursing students are being hit particularly badly by the current economic crisis, says the RCN, as they struggle to meet the rising costs of living on an average bursary of only £550 per month.

RCN general secretary Peter Carter said he was extremely worried that nurses were struggling to make ends meet and failing to keep up with mortgage payments.

‘These figures show the stark financial reality faced by nurses across the country and provide concrete evidence why we must re-open talks on the oat award for nurses next year,’ he said.

The college, along with other organisations representing NHS staff, are currently bidding to re-open talks on the 2009-2010 pay deal, which had includes a re-opener clause should inflation rise.

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Readers' comments (2)

  • Whilst the bursary system is a means to aid the student nurses to remain in training; the pressure on spouses and partners is being severly tested also, thus impacting on student.
    my, husband is very very supportive for which i am greatful but he , like many others, is dumbfounded by the way in which we students are "hogtied" to not being able to access agency work, such as NHS Professionals, as the university will not easily give references
    in our case a simple two shift per week or even fortnightly would not impact on my studies but would assist my husband to have a life outside his own stressful job. he hasn't had a night out with his mates in months and it simply isn't fair on him.
    surely if a student is willing to commit to study and will further commit to their studies and work, allbeit, for just 12 or 24 hours a week so as to better contribute to the home expences and life of our family (we have no children or else i would not have been able to continue studying).
    as we all feel the impact increased utility bills (35 - 45 % per month) alone the authorities must see sense and enable students to enhance he bursary payments without sanction or there will simply be no mature students around to become RGN, RMN etc's through simply need to be able to pay bills and even food bill.

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  • I am also a student nurse but feel that it is not only mature student being affected by the credit crunch. I am 23 and live at home but not out of choice, i still have to contribute the majority of my measley bursary to outgoings. I agree that we work very hard and now being in my third year i am finding it very hard to work on the nurse bank to help get by. I have also been made redundant from my part time work as the crunch claims more high street stores. Government needs to look at what they are expecting us to live on and change this very soon. I fear there will become a shortage of nurses in the next few years as nobody can afford to study with an income of 520 a month, when working full time + most weeks, in other countrys this would be called explotation.

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