We hear from a mature student nurse who believes that losing the student nurse bursary is not going to reduce nurse recruitment
Hello my name is Helen, I am a mature student and I live in one of the most deprived areas of the UK.
I am exactly the type of student that many are now fearing would be deterred from entering the nursing profession under new funding rules.
Why? Because I am older and have responsibilities as a mother and a carer and because on the face of it I come from ‘a lower social class’. A term that suggests I am of lower social standing than everybody else.
I am not ‘in favour’ of the proposed changes to nurse education. In a perfect world all education would be free at point of entry.
But I have to ask, as nurses are we really a special case?
“As nurses are we really a special case?”
My friend is a teacher, she works longer hours than any nurse I know, she receives around the same pay as a band 5 nurse, and she had to go out on placements as a student and now pays a small sum of money every month to the student loans company for the pleasure.
Under new rules, student nurses are going to be in a similar situation to my friend, whose route into education consisted of a 3 year undergraduate degree and 1 year post graduate studies.
”At graduation nurses are going to leave university with a debt of around £55k”
At graduation nurses are going to leave university with a debt of around £55k. As a band 5 nurse, this will mean that they pay back around £27 per month. They will also receive an education that they will be able to expect much more from as direct consumers.
They will also receive around a 25% increase in maintenance monies, actual ”cash in hand”, which may perhaps reduce some people’s need to work part time on top of their course commitments.
”Is £5.50 per week out of potential earnings really asking too much of nurses?”
Is £5.50 per week out of potential earnings really asking too much of nurses?
As a mature student, the one thing that I have learnt is that debt is part of life. It is an unfortunate cold fact that we live in a consumerist society that is driven by market forces.
It is probably true that we pay more than £5.50 per week for satellite channels and many things that actually we don’t need, so why not pay it for our education?
In addition, the new changes will potentially bring many more new nurses into the profession who have for many years been turned away due to caps on numbers and will divert monies that have previously been used for training directly to patient care.
Surely, in the context of efficiency drives and in an age of austerity, the more cash that goes to the people we care for so much the better.
These changes would not put me off from entering the profession, of course graduating with debt is something that is not appealing to me, but paying £5.50 per week for a good education is perhaps not so bad.
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