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Many nurses could tip over into debt in next six months, RCN warns

College’s welfare adviser offers tips for managing your finances, and learn about resources you can access that offer financial support

College’s welfare adviser offers tips for managing your finances, and learn about resources you can access that offer financial support

A welfare adviser has warned that the next six months could see many nurses facing dire financial circumstances.

RCN senior welfare adviser Claire Cannings said the current cost of living pressures experienced by nurses could be the worst she has seen in her 20-year career providing welfare support.

Fears over energy bill increases

In an interview with Nursing Standard she said: ‘I think there’s going to be a huge increase [in nurses seeking debt support] over the next six months.

‘At the moment there’s a lot of fear because the changes to the energy bills

College’s welfare adviser offers tips for managing your finances, and learn about resources you can access that offer financial support

Picture: iStock

A welfare adviser has warned that the next six months could see many nurses facing dire financial circumstances.

RCN senior welfare adviser Claire Cannings said the current cost of living pressures experienced by nurses could be the worst she has seen in her 20-year career providing welfare support.

Fears over energy bill increases

In an interview with Nursing Standard she said: ‘I think there’s going to be a huge increase [in nurses seeking debt support] over the next six months.

‘At the moment there’s a lot of fear because the changes to the energy bills haven’t hit people yet.’

Ms Cannings warned it would be nurses who are ‘just managing’ with their finances who could tip over into debt.

‘They’re the ones who at the end of the month have nothing left over because every penny is being accounted for,’ she said. ‘Those are the ones who will tip into debt because they will start borrowing when the money runs out.’

Ms Cannings added: ‘If someone is just about managing and they take out extra borrowing, and then don’t have capacity to pay the repayments on a loan, that’s when debt becomes a problem debt.’

Don’t panic – work out your finances and budget accordingly

So, what can you do if you are struggling with money?

Ms Canning’s said there is not a ‘one size fits all’ category when it comes to managing finances, and added that it’s not always about cutting back on life’s little joys, such as a takeaway coffee.

‘It’s about somebody sitting down and working out what they’ve got going out, what they’ve got coming in, and seeing how they individually can balance the books.

‘There may be areas you can cut back, I’m not about to say where that could be, but you can’t do that process until you’ve sat down and done a budget.’

Tips for managing your finances

  • Create a budget to see where you can cut back
  • Check your tax code – are you being taxed the right amount?
  • Check to see if you’re eligible for benefits – many benefits checkers can be found online and only take
    20 minutes
  • Maximise your budget – can you boost your income by working extra shifts?
  • Speak to an RCN welfare adviser ‘sooner rather than later’ if you’re worried about money

Source: RCN senior welfare adviser Claire Cannings

RCN campaigning for nurse pay rises and mileage rates

Nurses are facing a tough year as household bills go up by around £700, National Insurance rises cost them hundreds of pounds a year, and the price of fuel continues to increase.

The RCN is campaigning for a 12.5% pay rise for nurses, warning that anything less will put patients at risk due to burnt out and financially stretched nurses leaving the profession.

The college is also campaigning for an urgent review into mileage rates, which it says are forcing some community and district nurses off the road as the cost for them filling up at the petrol tank jumps by as much as £100 per month.


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