'London student nurse job scheme should address cost of living'

The Capital Nurse scheme guarantees student nurses a job once they qualify

Nursing students training in London say that a new scheme guaranteeing them a job on qualification should address the cost of living in the capital.

Capital Nurse was created last summer by NHS England’s chief nurse for London Caroline Alexander and Health Education England (HEE) dean of healthcare for north, central and east London Chris Caldwell.

They want trusts to sign up by April this year ready for implementation in autumn 2017 to improve recruitment and retention at hospitals in the 32 boroughs.

However, King's College London final year adult nursing student Zoe Alldis said: ‘A Band 5 salary isn’t sufficient to have a good life in London and, until trusts can pay more or the cost of living is lowered, this scheme won’t really help us.

‘Also, if we qualified for subsidised travel and rents, it would make a big difference because most of what we earn goes on housing and transport.’

A survey by HEE revealed that more than 30% of newly-qualified nurses had stopped working in the capital within five years.

RCN figures show that vacancy rates in London are around 17%, a figure the scheme hopes to help reduce to 5%.

A HEE spokesperson said: 'The Capital Nurse programme in London aims to secure London’s nursing students an employment guarantee post qualification, and plans to develop good post graduate careers and development opportunities.

'London is an expensive place to live and work, and so our key aim in this programme is improving retention.  

'London’s NHS employers are working with trade union colleagues and others to help reduce some of the burden, looking specifically at housing and transport.'


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