We are only now seeing numbers exceeding 2016 numbers, despite years of growth in demand for services.
Critically, this is at a time where there are almost 40,000 vacant nursing posts in the NHS in England alone. When unfilled nursing jobs are reaching record levels, it is even more important to attract the next generation to our profession.
Following tireless campaigning from student nurses who are active campaigners with the RCN, the government confirmed that from September 2020, all nursing students in England will receive at least £5,000 a year to help with living costs. While this is a positive first step, it’s only the start of what’s needed to address the nursing workforce crisis.
We’re calling on the government to:
- abolish self-funded tuition fees for all nursing, midwifery, and allied health care students
- introduce universal, living maintenance grants that reflect actual student need
- reimburse tuition fees or forgive current debt for all nursing, midwifery, and allied health care students impacted by the removal of the bursary