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‘Is studying nursing financially viable?’


Can you advice this potential student nurse?

“I’ve only recently started looking into studying nursing but was hoping to start next year. So I’ve only just found out that the bursary is probably being removed completely and that nursing students are going to have to pay tuition fees.

“But does this mean that I’ll actually have MORE money while I’m studying because I’ll be able to apply for more money via a loan than I would have got from a bursary?

“That’s how it looks but a lot of people seem to be saying that they couldn’t afford to do the course, so am I missing something?

“I know that nursing students are looking at having a debt more in-line with what other students finish their course with but while we’re actually studying, won’t we now have more than we would have had?

“Obviously I’d prefer the bursary and to not have a debt at the end but I wasn’t really aware of the finance options before so it’s not a huge shock for me. I just want to find out from other nursing students how much difference this is actually going to make DURING the course and whether it is no longer financially viable to study nursing?”

Please use the comments section below to share your advice

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Readers' comments (4)

  • It's not a viable option. It's different to other courses as the course is full time - as in you only get 7 weeks off a year compared to other courses where they have 3 months off in the summer etc. This means that there is limited time to do bank shifts or a type of employment to make money whilst you're studying. When you're at uni, you're at lessons mon-fri all day - other courses average out about 12-15 hours. So your free time is limited. A student loan doesn't take into account how long your course is - so with the same amount of money you're having to spread it out further which isn't doable as you can't work to make more money (there isn't the time). The bursary was a lifesaver in more ways than one. Those with a bursary also had a student loan and still struggled. With the changes it also makes it harder for anyone returning to education because if you have already had a student loan for a previous course then you are not entitled to another one - which means for them it won't be financially viable to study nursing and make a career of it unless you're loaded to fund yourself.
    If it's a career you want to pursue then you will find a way to manage, but it's worth thinking about how you will fund yourself whilst you're studying

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  • Nursing is a great job but it's also a difficult job, my fear is that removing the bursary has now made it impossible.
    The removal of the bursary and replacing it with loans i.e. debt at an estimated £50,000, will make it incredibly difficult to study nursing, midwifery or the allied health professions.
    The course is full time over 45 weeks of the year, added into this the placements you will have are often variable and you will need to be flexible with your timetabling. You are likely to need more money not less than other students.
    Should you proceed to graduation then you will have the debt hanging over you for the full 30 years as you will be unlikely to be able to repay it and repaying it will mean that you take home £1,000 less per year.

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  • I may be wrong, but as I understand it, the loans will be available to anyone who has done a previous degree? - as is the case currently. Nursing is one of the few courses where you are allowed to get a student loan having already had one for a first degree, to allow for people changing career later in life (my own situation). I understood that would continue to be the case. I do not agree with the proposed plan in principle or ethos - but I have struggled greatly to manage on the current bursary and reduced rate loan available to me, as it just isn't adequate to cover living expenses and rents in London unless trying to fit in paid employment in addition....the stress and exhaustion of which caused me to become ill and have to take a year out of the course. I think nursing training needs to be adequately funded, whether that is through bursaries, loans, or a combination of both. I think it would be a tragedy if nurses had to fully fund their studies and training through a loan system alone...but I also might choose that option if loans gave me the chance to have enough to live on during the course without having to jeopardise my health and study by working at the same time. It's a trade off: at present I feel as if I'd rather lose from my future pay packet if I were to have a more financially secure time right now - so that I do actually make it through to qualification without burning out.

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  • I currently work as a community HCA and would love to do a nursing degree next year but with a mortgage, 2 kids in uni and 1 doing GCSE I worry that it will be impossible financially.

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