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Public show strong support for nursing student loan forgiveness scheme

New polling from the RCN shows 76% of the public would support student loans being written off for nurses who work in the NHS or other public services.

Members of the public were asked by YouGov if they supported the idea of a loan forgiveness scheme for nurses who work in the NHS or other public services for a set period of time.

The results show 76% of the public support the idea, with 73% saying they think it would encourage more people to consider a career in nursing.

‘A loan forgiveness scheme for nurses working in the NHS and public services can stop students being shackled with debt and help attract and retain more nurses – it has huge support among the public too,’ said RCN General Secretary and Chief Executive Professor Pat Cullen.

It comes as tens of thousands of nurse posts lay empty and applications to study nursing fell 26% in two years.

The polling also shows the public wants the Chancellor to prioritise investment in the NHS (62%) ahead of tax cuts (27%) and other issues in the budget. 

‘The Chancellor has repeatedly said that he plans to deliver tax cuts in the upcoming budget, but the public don’t agree with his priorities. They want investment in the NHS above all else. That is a message that needs to be heard loud and clear before Wednesday,’ added Prof Cullen.