The College argues that the government in England should reimburse tuition fees, or forgive current debt, for all current nursing, midwifery and allied health care students in the light of the demands of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We are also repeating our call that tuition fees for all future students should be covered by the government and a universal cost of living maintenance grant introduced.
In March, final year nursing students were invited to go into full-time nursing placements for the final six months of their degrees to aid the fight against the pandemic.
Mike Adams, RCN Director for England, said: “The vital work student nurses have been doing throughout the pandemic has demonstrated the huge contribution nursing undergraduates make to our health and care services – neither they nor future students should have to pay tuition fees to do this.”
The RCN made these demands in a joint letter with other unions to the Health and Social Care Secretary earlier this month. We have yet to receive a response.
Chair of the RCN Students Committee Jessica Sainsbury said: “It’s high time the government got behind student nurses by providing full tuition fee support and maintenance grants covering the true cost of living for all nursing students in England, both now and in the future. Any student who is in debt due to their nursing education should have their debt dropped.”
Earlier this week the prime minister made a commitment to write to the Chair of the Education Select Committee, in response to calls from senior MPs to review the funding arrangements for nursing students.