#FundOurFuture Nurses

We're calling on the government to provide full tuition fee support and maintenance grants which cover the true cost of living for all nursing students in England.

Since the government withdrew funding for nursing students in 2016, there has been a worrying decline in the number of people applying to study nursing in England.

We are only now seeing numberexceeding 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

Discover more about why we need more nursing students and what the government must do to support studentsin our Beyond the Bursary report.

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Key RCN activity

March 2020

RCN calls on the government to extend their funding commitment to include support for tuition fees and maintenance support that meets students need in the upcoming Budget.

January 2020

RCN #SafeStaffingSavesLives petition calling on the government to fix the nursing workforce crisis in England reaches 100,000 signatures.