Parliament has agreed to debate the abolition of student nurse bursaries on 11 January 2016.
The debate follows a petition set up by student nurse Kat Webb, calling on the government to reconsider the decision revealed by George Osborne in the Spending Review on 25 November.
At the time of publication the petition had reached 137,185 signatures. Petitions that exceed 100,000 will be considered for debate in parliament.
Ms Webb highlighted that most students will work to fund their studies alongside working full time hours during placement and attending lectures and completing assignments. ‘Taking away the NHS bursary will force more student nurses into working 70 hour weeks, as many already do, it will compromise our studies and most of all our patient care,’ she said.
Following the announcement on bursaries, nursing unions and organisations have expressed concern about the decision with Janet Davies, chief executive of the Royal College of Nursing, calling it ‘extremely disappointing’.
‘Those who made this decision simply don’t understand that nursing is not like other degrees,’ she said, and has asked nurses to let the RCN know how important the student nurse bursary is. Chancellor George Osborne, said that removing student nurse bursaries would remove the cap on the number of students universities can accept onto courses. He claimed that it would ‘create 10,000 more nursing training places.’
The debate can be viewed online at www.parliament.tv
The changes to the way the way nursing education is funded will affect students starting courses in 2017.