Keep the NHS Bursary
At the moment, student nurses do not pay tuition fees and receive a means tested bursary during their training, but Government plan to end the NHS bursary. If you are an existing student nurse please do not panic – your bursary is safe. It is not safe however for your future colleagues (those starting first year in the 2017-18 academic year) who look set to miss out on this financial help which is a necessity for many student nurses who are typically too busy studying and looking after patients to earn much money during their studies, unlike students studying most other programmes.
You may have noticed the online petition, ‘Keep the NHS Bursary’. Government responds to all petitions than get more than 10,000 signatures; this petition has received, so far, 145,250 signatures, so it will be debated in Parliament on 11th January 2016. Have you signed it?
In partnership with @WeNurses and London South Bank University there will be a digital debate on the NHS Bursary on Twitter on 6 January from 6-8pm. This will be a chance to share your thoughts, feelings and experiences on this subject. This chat will feed into the Westminster Hall debate on 11 January. Get involved on #WeNurses. And maybe you could attend the live debate at London South Bank University? See if there are tickets available by clicking here.
If you want to contact your local MP before the debate to encourage them to take part and raise the issues that concern you, you can find out who they are and how to contact them here: http://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps/
The next thing you can do is watch Parliament debate the petition on the 11th January 2016. It will be online at parliamentlive.tv, so you can find out some of the arguments for and against scrapping the bursary. Which argument will win?
Acknowledgement: Much of the information above was gratefully received from The Petitions Team, UK Government and Parliament.