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Mature students will be given 'best possible assistance' to become nurses

Government pledge comes despite plans to scrap student bursary
Mature student

The government has committed to helping mature students enter the profession, despite proposals to scrap the nursing student bursary.

Unions have accused the government of taking an 'unprecedented gamble' with proposals to replace bursaries with tuition fees and loans for students in England from next year.

A consultation on the proposals closed last week, with thousands of nurses voicing their opposition.

The issue was raised in the House of Commons this week, where health minister Ben Gummer told MPs the government would ensure it would give 'the best possible assistance to mature students who want to become nurses'.

A Unison survey of 1,650 nurses, which formed part of its consultation response, revealed that 72% believed the bursary should stay.

And an RCN survey of more than 17,000 nurses found two thirds would not have joined the profession in the first place had the bursary not

The government has committed to helping mature students enter the profession, despite proposals to scrap the nursing student bursary.

Unions have accused the government of taking an 'unprecedented gamble' with proposals to replace bursaries with tuition fees and loans for students in England from next year.

A consultation on the proposals closed last week, with thousands of nurses voicing their opposition.

The issue was raised in the House of Commons this week, where health minister Ben Gummer told MPs the government would ensure it would give 'the best possible assistance to mature students who want to become nurses'.

A Unison survey of 1,650 nurses, which formed part of its consultation response, revealed that 72% believed the bursary should stay. 

And an RCN survey of more than 17,000 nurses found two thirds would not have joined the profession in the first place had the bursary not been available.

But responding to a question by Labour MP for Tooting Dr Rosena Allin-Khan, regarding the effect of removing the bursary on mature students and staff recruitment, Mr Gummer said the move could increase the number of nurses working in the health service.

‘I believe we will be able to get more nurses and more healthcare professionals into the NHS by changes to nurse bursaries,' he said.

'That was the experience across the rest of the higher education sector [when tuition fees were introduced] and I want to replicate that success in the NHS so we can provide the health service with the workers it requires.'

 

 

 

 

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