Dudley MP Ian Austin is calling on the government to support student nurses – instead of saddling them with massive debts.
He is backing the “Fund Our Future Campaign” which is calling on the Government to put back a minimum of £1 billion year in nursing higher education.
Government changes mean student nurses now have to pay tuition fees like other students, but there have been 1800 fewer nurses accepted onto nursing courses in September 2018 compared to 2016. This is against a backdrop of almost 42,000 nursing vacancies in England in the NHS alone, and its estimated that by 2023 this will rise to almost 48,000.
The personal cost of becoming a nurse is turning people away when health and care services most need growth in the number of registered nurses. Nursing students urgently need more financial support if the Government is going to tackle the workforce crisis.
Austin says the government should pay nurses to train like they did in the past. Nursing courses are longer than other degrees and students have to work all hours of the day and night.
This means they don’t have the time to get other jobs to support themselves.
Ian Austin said:
“Nurses work all hours of the day and night to care for the rest of us and they deserve our thanks and support, but they also need a government that is on their side and funds the NHS properly.
“England is the only country in the UK without some form of bursary for a nursing degree. If it was down to me we would pay students to become nurses like we did in the old days, not the other way around!
“I want to Government to support nurses by ensuring education is properly funded, helping with tuition fees and making sure the vacancies are filled to give the NHS the support it needs”