We are currently updating the website to provide enhanced features as part of RCNi Plus. If you come across any unusual functionality during this period or have feedback about the changes to the website, please contact customer services
News

Commons to debate future of bursary for postgraduate nursing students

This evening Labour will put forward a motion to annul the scrapping of the postgraduate bursary
Palace of Westminster

This evening Labour will put forward a motion to annul the scrapping of the postgraduate bursary

The fate of funding to support postgraduate nursing students in England could be decided tonight in a Commons vote.

At 7pm Labour will put forward a motion to annul the governments decision to scrap the bursary for postgraduate nursing students. The bursary is due to be abolished for postgraduate nursing students starting their courses in August 2018.

The opposition hopes tonight's vote could overturn this.

The fate of the postgraduate bursary follows that of the undergraduate bursary, which

This evening Labour will put forward a motion to annul the scrapping of the postgraduate bursary


Picture: iStock

The fate of funding to support postgraduate nursing students in England could be decided tonight in a Commons vote.

At 7pm Labour will put forward a motion to annul the government’s decision to scrap the bursary for postgraduate nursing students. The bursary is due to be abolished for postgraduate nursing students starting their courses in August 2018.

The opposition hopes tonight's vote could overturn this.

The fate of the postgraduate bursary follows that of the undergraduate bursary, which ended in England in 2017.

RCN general secretary Janet Davies said the decision to scrap the bursary for undergraduates had led to a plummeting applications and urged politicians not to make the same mistake with postgraduate nursing studies.

‘The decision to remove undergraduate support resulted in a collapse in trainee applications,’ she said.

‘Ministers should think very carefully before risking a further drop at a time when our health and social care system is desperately short of nurses.’

According to the RCN, a two-year postgraduate nursing degree is the fastest way to train a nurse.

The need for extra nurses in the UK is clear, according to the RCN, which estimates there is a shortage of 40,000 in England alone.

How nurses lobbied MPs over the bursary

The debate follows a meeting between postgraduate nursing students and politicians at parliament last month. Nurses who had benefited from the bursary, and students currently supported by it, argued for its survival.

Nurse Michael Lawton was one of those who attended and said the effect of the bursary could not be underestimated: ‘Without the bursary I couldn’t have applied and I wouldn’t be in a career I love, giving patients the great care they deserve.'

Mr Lawton said considering the hours nursing students had to work to graduate, removing the bursary was unfair.

‘MPs I’ve spoken to are shocked at how many hours we do in clinical placement,’ he said.

‘By removing the bursary, the government is asking people to pay to work on placements to keep the NHS afloat, and that isn’t right.’

Postgraduate nursing student Georgie Ellmore-Jones said adding further debt to studying will only discourage potential students from applying, especially those with children.

‘After my undergraduate degree I was already in a lot of debt,’ she said.

‘When I looked at pursuing a career in nursing and saw it was funded, it made it more certain in my mind that I wanted to do it.’

The government formalised its plan to remove the bursary for postgraduate nursing students in February.

This will force prospective postgraduate nursing students to take out a loan for their studies if they cannot afford to pay. The government has said loans-based funding would provide a more sustainable model for universities and increase the supply of nurses by paying for more student places.

Watch the live debate here


In other news

Sign up to continue reading for FREE

OR

Unlock full access to RCNi Plus today

Save over 50% on your first 3 months

  • Customisable clinical dashboard featuring more than 200 topics
  • Unlimited online access to all 10 RCNi Journals and their archives
  • RCNi Learning featuring 180 CPD-accredited learning modules
  • NMC-compliant RCNi Portfolio to build evidence for revalidation
  • Personalised newsletters tailored to your interests

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this?

Jobs