Time to act- Save Our NHS Bursaries - By Helen Corry

I am a second year adult nursing student who, like many others, was shocked and saddened by the news of the proposed NHS bursary cuts. I chose to pursue a career in nursing at the age of twenty seven and left full time work to complete an access course before progressing to study at university. I rely heavily on my bursary and still have to take out a maintenance loan to support myself.

I chose nursing as a career because I care and I want to make a difference. Nothing else gives me the same sense of achievement as leaving placement after a 12.5 hour shift knowing I’ve made a difference, however small or insignificant. The moves will not affect me directly but I care about the future of our NHS and its staff and our voice must be heard.

The NHS is in crisis from all angles and we must fight to protect it. The government suggests the moves will allow thousands more nurses to study;  where are they planning on getting the resources to train all these extra nurses? We already have a chronic shortage of mentors and these moves could seriously compromise patient safety.

I’m not too worried about that though as in reality I doubt there will be a surge of people eager to take on massive debts and effectively pay to work. Many have pointed out that the student loans system doesn’t work, calculations based on current nursing wages show that it would take over 100 years to pay back the debts generated through the loans system. Maybe the slogan “you’ll never get it back” can be chanted by the new wave of eager student nurses skipping off to complete their 2300 clinical hours, for which they could now be paying for the privilege.

Another key point to mention is that the current loans system caps the number of years for which students can receive financial support. Bye-bye any potential future nurses or allied health professionals who already have a degree- which is a pretty substantial number.

Ultimately the proposals are both financially unsustainable and morally corrupt. I don’t mind working in central London for the equivalent of £3.60 p/hour but please don’t insult me by telling me I should be paying to do it. Ultimately it’s not about how much we get per hour on placement though- I would work for less if it meant I could be a nurse at the end of it. Plain and simply I would not be here if it weren’t for my bursary.

We so desperately need enthusiastic, passionate and dedicated people who WANT to nurse, not just people that can afford to do it.

Have your say and follow us on twitter: @NHSbursarycuts  #bursaryorbust and like our facebook page for more information: NHS Bursary Cuts Forum

They say cut back, we say fight back!

Showing 4 reactions

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  • Elsye Besi Cnp
    commented 2016-05-11 08:46:20 +0100
    I am concerned with this incident. I am sure many people out there can not afford in terms of materials, but also wants to be a successful nurse. http://berkatkaruniajaya.net understand your feelings.
  • christine west
    commented 2016-02-12 16:56:31 +0000
    Please everybody we need to ramp up our campaign and shout from the rooftops. T o make this possible we must make sure that any demonstrations are actively advertised, with regard to the fact that older people might not use social media and the internet. Please let’s organise a huge demonstration that people can easily find out where to meet.
  • Keona Liam
    commented 2016-02-10 10:07:40 +0000
    I have a friend who has done nursing graduation from our hospital, the full course taken 3 years long with the great effort. He has joined old age home for taking care of old citizens and proven himself a proud citizen. Well he is also contributing some of their work for http://www.enosite.com/pricing and writing a great content for this agency.
  • Steven Hyde
    commented 2016-01-12 09:07:51 +0000
    Taking into consideration than nursing schools have already a very long waiting list of the candidates and the strict requirements you need to meet to get a chance for an education (you can see them here: http://nursingcollegeprograms.doodlekit.com/) there a proposal to cut NHS bursary encourages decrease in the number of medical workers. In addition to numerous hospitals announcing lack of workers because of the number of students major in medicine decreases nurse practitioners will be taking more hours as there will be no substitution.

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