In July 2016, the Government confirmed its decision (set out in November 2015) to replace NHS bursaries for nursing and allied health professional students in England with student loans
Students will be charged tuition fees from 1 August 2017.
Despite the overwhelming concerns which you have helped us to consistently raise with the Government, these plans will now go ahead
It is, however, positive that the Government has listened to some of our concerns including on transitional bursaries for postgraduates and hardship funds.
But there is still a worrying lack of clarity on clinical placements.
This has been a hard-fought campaign and we are grateful for your campaigning efforts.
We stand ready to work with the Government to ensure the best for nursing students in England, including students who find themselves in severe financial hardship.
The changes will only apply to nursing students studying in England who begin their undergraduate course from August 2017.
Students in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will still have access to the existing bursary.
Nursing students in England will have to pay tuition fees, which could cost up to £9,250 a year.
Affected students will be able to apply for a loan from Student Finance England to cover course fees and to help with living costs.
Student loans are repayable once you start earning over £21,000 a year – at a rate of 9% of everything you earn above this figure.
The remaining loan is written off if you do not pay it back in full within 30 years.
For students who already have a student loan, any second loan you take on will be added to your existing loan and repaid in the same way.
Postgraduate nursing students in England will continue to receive a bursary in 2017-18.
For more information, see the Government’s response to the student funding consultation.
The RCN responded to Government’s 12 week consultation on student funding, using evidence gathered from over 17,000 of you who responded to our survey.
We told the Government that over two thirds of you would not have studied nursing if you’d had to take out a full student loan and pay fees.
We also told them that:
The RCN, along with other major health organisations, called for the Government to halt its plans to reform student nurse funding in an open letter to the Prime Minister.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan and the London Assembly also wrote to the Department of Health to ask that they halt the plans because of the impact it will have on nursing students studying in London.
RCN members passed a unanimous resolution on bursaries at Congress. Read more and watch the debate here.
We lobbied MPs and marched the streets of Westminster alongside RCN students against the plans.
Earlier this year, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn used an example from an RCN booklet to highlight the importance of the NHS bursary to nursing students at this week’s Prime Minister’s Questions.
Many of you have told us what the bursary has meant to you. You can continue to do so below.
The RCN is calling on the Government to give NHS staff an above-inflation pay rise to help solve a recruitment and retention crisis.
Nurses in Hertfordshire could risk their long-term financial future if they opt out of the NHS Pension Scheme in return for higher pay.
The RCN has responded to the Government’s announcement that it will go ahead with changes to student nurse finance arrangements.
Nursing staff have a responsibility to educate others.
The Government consultation on funding changes closes on 30 June.