This site is intended for healthcare professionals only

Public backs retainment of student nurse bursary

Written by: | Published:

Public opinion supports the student nurse bursary Public opinion supports the student nurse bursary according to a poll by YouGov and Unison

The public believes the government should continue to pay for the training of student nurses and midwives, a new survey by Unison revealed.

Unison commissioned the polling as part of its submission to the government's consultation into plans to scrap the nursing bursary. More than three-quarters of voters who took part in the YouGov survey believe that the government must carry on paying the tuition fees of student nurses and others studying to become NHS health professionals.

The curernt government proposal is to remove the student bursary, thus student nurses, midwives and AHPs will have to fund their own university education.

'There is already a desperate shortage of nurses. Scrapping the bursary next year will simply add to the huge pressures on an already overwhelmed NHS. This poll clearly shows that the public thinks the government should meet the cost of student nurses' training,' said Unison health of health Christina McAnea.

She stated the nursing students tend to be older and may already have debt from a first degree. She went on to call the plans 'ill-conceived' and will deter nursing recruits, not attract them.

Survey respondents also asked if they thought student nurses should be paid for their time during their placements. Some 71% thought they should and a third thought they should be paid the national living wage (£7.20 an hour for anyone over the age of 25).

Unison has calculated that students graduating in 2020 could be saddled with debts of around £51,600, yet will be starting out in the workplace on a salary of under £23,000.

Ms McAnea said that the union is calling on ministers to pause the plans and rethink them.

What do you think? Leave a comment below or tweet your views to @IndyNurseMag

This material is protected by MA Healthcare Ltd copyright.
See Terms and Conditions.



Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.

Change the CAPTCHA codeSpeak the CAPTCHA code

Read a free issue from Practice Nursing

Register to read a free issue from our sister publication, Practice Nursing.

Including articles on asthma, diabetes and more. Read your copy.


Sign up to the newsletter


Independent Nurse is the professional resource for primary care and community nurses, providing clinical articles for practice nurses and prescribers.


Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date with the latest nursing news.

Stay Connected

Stay social with Independent Nurse by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook or connecting on LinkedIn.


Need access to some of our older articles? You can view our archive, or alternatively contact us.

Contact Us

MA Healthcare Ltd.
St Jude's Church, Dulwich Road
London, SE24 0PB

Tel: +44 (0)20 7738 5454
Registered in England and Wales No. 01878373

Meet the team


Find out how to contribute to Independent Nurse here.