Debt-riddled nursing students need second jobs to 'keep heads above water'

Almost three quarters of nursing students have had to get a second job so they could afford to study and nearly half have considered leaving their course altogether, according to a new report from the Royal College of Nursing (RCN).

Photograph: iStockphoto/Maciej Bogacz
Photograph: iStockphoto/Maciej Bogacz

The survey of over 4,500 nursing students across the UK found that paid work was having serious negative consequences on the time they could devote to their studies. 57% of students said that they were working more than 10 hours a week in paid employment alongside their studies in order to make ends meet.

Dr Peter Carter, RCN chief executive and general secretary, said: ‘It's clear that nursing students are struggling to keep their heads above water because they're saddled with debt and the support on offer is far from ideal.

‘The government needs to introduce a liveable, non-means tested bursary of £12,000 so that fees and spiralling living costs don't stop nurses from staying the course, completing their studies and delivering high quality care for years to come.'

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