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Readers panel: Is negative media coverage to blame for putting young people off nursing?

In an interview with Nursing Standard the outgoing chair of the Council of Deans of Health, Professor Dame Jessica Corner, said the student bursary was unsustainable and suggested young people are being put off a career in nursing by ‘constant negative media stories’. Nursing Standard readers respond.
negative press

In an interview with Nursing Standard the outgoing chair of the Council of Deans of Health, Professor Dame Jessica Corner, said the student bursary was unsustainable and suggested young people are put off nursing by constant negative media stories. Nursing Standard readers respond

Drew Payne is a community staff nurse in north London

Denying any link between the 23% drop in applications to nursing courses and the scrapping of student bursaries is more than naive. The prospect of at least 27,000 of debt at the beginning of their career is putting a lot of people off training, more than the media stories of stressed NHS staff. Universities need to be proactive with financial support for nursing students, or even fewer people will be applying. Also, a nursing salary certainly isnt big enough to pay off student loans.

Beverley Ramdeen is a senior

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In an interview with Nursing Standard the outgoing chair of the Council of Deans of Health, Professor Dame Jessica Corner, said the student bursary was unsustainable and suggested young people are put off nursing by ‘constant negative media stories’. Nursing Standard readers respond

drew payne
Drew Payne is a community staff nurse in north London

Denying any link between the 23% drop in applications to nursing courses and the scrapping of student bursaries is more than naive. The prospect of at least £27,000 of debt at the beginning of their career is putting a lot of people off training, more than the media stories of stressed NHS staff. Universities need to be proactive with financial support for nursing students, or even fewer people will be applying. Also, a nursing salary certainly isn’t big enough to pay off student loans.

beverley ramdeen
Beverley Ramdeen is a senior lecturer in adult nursing at the University of Hertfordshire

The drop in nursing degree applications cannot be attributed solely to negative media stories. Recent media portrayals of nurses have been positive, such as in the wake of the Westminster terror attack. To attract more nursing students, more investment is needed to ensure all newly qualified staff have a preceptorship period, followed by clearer career pathways and a robust structure to support staff development in terms of skills and knowledge. The solution is to bring back the bursary.
stephanie cumming

Stephanie Cumming is a practice nurse in Warwickshire

While negative portrayals of nursing in the media may not have helped promote it as an attractive profession, this can’t be blamed for the drop. The biggest issue is the scrapping of the bursary. Nursing students work hard at university and in clinical practice, and have very little time outside of their course to undertake paid work. I always felt that the bursary was a reflection of this. Without the bursary nursing is just not an affordable option for many applicants. It is important that we continue to promote a positive image of nursing in the media, but this is an entirely separate issue.
lauren ferrier

Lauren Ferrier is a nursing student in Scotland

There have been negative media stories regarding nursing for years, but it never put me off applying to do a nursing degree. However, the 1% cap on pay, coupled with tuition fees and no more bursaries, would have done. When you work full-time on a ward it is very difficult to supplement your income and support yourself. It might be worthwhile if you received a fair wage at the end. If I had to do my training now, I would consider working as a nursing assistant instead.

Readers panel members give their views in a personal capacity only

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