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.