Students walking out of placement – A step too far?

With all the recent changes proposed to NHS Bursaries, Nurse education and Junior Contracts – Alongside the Junior Doctors strike, some student nurses have come up with the suggestion, that we as a profession could voice our discontent to the proposals by walking out of placement/lecture for an hour.

While I’m all for campaigning, and raising awareness of the proposed changes, working with local MP’s and various groups. This is a step too far, which may put some student nurses in a lot of trouble, with the potential to end up in a disciplinary/fitness to practice hearing. This is why –

1. It breaches the NMC Code of Conduct

Several sections of the Code of Conduct (2015) would be breached if student nurses chose to walk out of placement.

Section 1:4 – “make sure that any treatment, assistance or care for which
you are responsible is delivered without undue delay” by walking out, this could be deemed as delaying care for patients, as you move in to final placements in final year, you may be assigned a caseload of patients.

Section 8:4 – “be supportive of colleagues who are encountering health or performance problems. However, this support must never
compromise or be at the expense of patient or public safety” – While we should support our colleagues, it cannot compromise patient safety.

Section 19:1 – “take measures to reduce as far as possible, the likelihood of mistakes, near misses, harm and the effect of harm
if it takes place”

Section 20:3 – “be aware at all times of how your behaviour can affect and influence the behaviour of other people”

20:7 – “make sure you do not express your personal beliefs (including political, religious or moral beliefs) to people in an inappropriate way” – This is the main point, by walking out on a politically motivated protest, this would in breach of this point.

2. It’s detrimental to your education

As a bursary student, the taxpayer funds your tuition fee, and gives you your bursary, by walking out. Is this not contrary to the point which we’re trying to raise?

Mentors and Placement areas are very short in supply, and students need to make the most of the time while they’re on placement; by walking out, it would be detrimental to your education, as you would miss out on time learning on your placement area/lecture.

Being a student does not give you the same ‘strike’ rights in which an employee of a company would.


3. Lunch Break?

This is one of the possibilities flagged up, however if it occurs on a lunch break, what is the point of leaving as it doesn’t really get the point across.

This is also very dangerous to your physical health, if working a long 12 hour shift, it is important to take adequate breaks and make the most of them.


Policy on Placement Hours

Union policy on Placement Hours.

Union Notes

  • Legislation states that employees should not be expected to work any greater than 48 hours a week – This legislation does not apply to those working in Emergency Services, or services supplying a 24 hr service such as the NHS. Even if this legislation applied to the NHS, students on placements would not be covered, as they’re not technically employed.
  • Junior doctors can work for up to 90 hours in one week, and then very little hours the following week. With the proposed change to contracts, this could be very damaging to physical and mental health.
  • Nursing students can be given a placement where they can work up to 13.5 hours in one shift, students can opt out of doing long days, however this may prove difficult if a placement sets the rota, or if a student is paying travel expenses to reach their placement.
  • The University of Southampton has published research which shows that working longer than 12 hours has a significant impact on physical and mental health. In comparison to staff who work 8 hour shifts, those who work 12 hour shifts are more likely to experience burnout, posing a safety risk to patients and staff. –
  • Students/staff may have to travel up to an hour to reach their placement/workplace.
  • A recent survey conducted for Health Science students had 66 respondents, 44 voted that students should not be expected to work greater than 12 hours, while 22 said they would prefer if they did.


Union Believes

  • Having less than 12 hour shifts is in the best interest for patients and staff.
  • It is important to maintain a high quality of standards and care within the NHS, by protecting employee’s mental and physical health, through the use of adequate breaks and reasonable shift times.
  • NHS Trusts should work to introduce more 8 hour shifts, as although it may cost less to work 12 hour shifts. In the long-term NHS Trusts will have difficulties retaining staff due to burnout and medical conditions.


Union Resolves

  • To lobby the University of Southampton Faculty of Health Sciences (And any other faculty where students have long placement hours) to impose a ban on working 12 hours or more (not including breaks).
  • To raise awareness of working long shifts, and the impacts on which they can have to physical and mental health, and how 8 hour shifts mitigate these risks.
  • To lobby local MP’s and the Department of Health to work with NHS Trusts to decrease the number of staff who work 12 hour shifts in favour of 8 hour shifts.
  • To support the Junior Doctors, in campaigning for a fair contract which addresses long shift hours.

Union Mandates

  • The Sabbatical Officer responsible for Education, as the chair of the Health Sciences Working Group to ensure that this policy is being implemented, in collaboration with the Sabbatical Officer responsible for Welfare.


Proposed changes to Nurse Education

With the ongoing need to strengthen and up-skill the current workforce highlighted in the Willis report, we need to offer national competency schemes for health care support workers to improve their knowledge and abilities.

The new proposals for the nursing associate role address this issue, however they go on to offer an alternative route in to Nursing, giving the ability to bypass university however they will still gain a degree and enter the NMC register as a qualified Nurse.

The different routes in to training are quite worrying with the loose terms of structured training, how can we ensure that there is continuity between the pathways?

Evidence has shown that for every 10% increase in university degree qualified nurses, there is a decrease in morality by 7%, with the proposals. It raises the question about how we can continue this high standard and ensuring that students learn the importance of evidence based care in their training.

The proposed changes have been on the proposal that many students are turned away from University due to not meeting the entry requirements. With the increased set of skills Nurses require, and the dilution of the barrier between Nursing and Medicine, should we really be bending the rules to allow students who do not meet the entry requirements and alternative route in to Nursing?

Evidence has shown that 44% of Nurses do not work in the NHS, there is a lack of incentives to retain Nurses in the UK and in our NHS. This is the issue which needs to addressed to address shortage levels. There also needs to be more return to nursing schemes, for those who have taken a break.

The proposals need further consultation so that we can ensure continuity, high quality and high standards across the proposed pathways. We need to ensure that the right people are becoming Nurses, and that we do not undermine the profession by taking a step back in time, to where Nursing was not a degree profession. There is also the issue around multiple roles within NHS, and the issue of are we creating an alternative to a Nurse to bypass the university route? We need to ensure that we do not provide sub-optimal care by filling a Nurse role with a non-nurse which contradicts safe staffing levels.

There is no doubt about the need for Nurses to have a degree now, with the evidence and amount of workload Nurses undertake, they need to be the right person to lead, manage and challenge care.


Safe Staffing – A Student Nurse Perspective

Safe staffing is an issue which is very current in the NHS, it gains its roots from the Francis Report, highlighting that many of the key failures at Mid Staffordshire were down to poor staffing levels.

Many people make the key like to Nurse – Patient ratios, and what the number of nurses to patients should be, this number has been often debated with the controversial shelving of the NICE guidance on A&E staff ratio numbers.

Why just safe?

But is ‘safe’ the wrong word? In the context of healthcare when something is deemed as ‘safe’ it means that it just meets the threshold of optimal care. In my opinion, having a ‘safe’ level of nurses to patients does not necessarily mean that patients will receive exceptional care, it means they will receive safe care which will prevent any never events from occurring. I believe that we should be ensuring that the provision is at this exceptional level, rather than the ‘safe’ threshold.

Is it all about nurse to patient ratios?

I think this is the error which many people slip up on making, in terms of patient care there needs to be many things considered.

Degree qualification

The evidence by RN4CAST presented at the safe staffing symposium, shows how one of these elements contributes to excellent patient care. for every 10% increase in degree qualified nurses there is a 7% decrease in mortality. This is a crucial piece of evidence which shows there is more to it than just staffing numbers.


To me this is one of the most crucial parts, nurses play a very different role dependent upon their area of work, these nurses will learn certain skills and abilities to ensure they provide excellent care for the patients within that clinical setting. For example, a nurse moving from Intensive Care to an elderly rehabilitation ward will have the understanding of the acuity, but may not understand all the precise details which are related to the area. On the other hand, a nurse moving from an elderly rehabilitation ward to ICU cannot be expected to have the skills to be able to provide care as efficiently as someone who has worked there for a longer duration of time, even if the elderly care nurse has overall held a degree longer.

I believe that this is addressed within the degree programmes, ensuring that students get a taste of all placement areas, and to be able to provide care to all patients. This ultimately prevents ‘siloing’ which I believe is where mistakes can happen, due to a lack of skillset.

Making sure staff are safe

To ensure that patients receive excellent care, staff need to receive excellent support. This is to ensure that staff know where they can receive help if they experience any issues on the job; To know that they feel important and mostly valued.

A key issue which needs to be addressed is the length of shifts, Wessex CLAHRC published evidence which shows that 12hr shifts have an impact on mental health. There have been placements where staff work as long as 13.5hr shifts, I believe this is a key area for future research, looking at how fatigue affects decision making and ultimately patient care.


Is it just nurses?

It is the whole team that needs to be considered and the effect which they have in place. It would be very interesting to see statistics from a ward when they have a student nurse and when they don’t, and to see how this additional pair of hands helps. Although students are supernumary and are not included in staffing levels, it would be interesting to see how their help impacts on patient care.

Healthcare assistants are a group which very much need to be considered in the staffing ratios. HCA’s or HCSW’s often undertake a large portion of patient care, and often are the first ones to report a problem to a Nurse, this crucial role is often undervalued and their contribution is often overlooked.

Acuity of patients

This is also a key issue which needs to be addressed, how the acuity of a patient changes, and how this then impacts upon the amount of staff required to provide exceptional care to that individual.



Overall I think that the work which is being undertaken is a fantastic step forwards following on from the Francis Report, and other reports. I believe that research needs to be undertaken in to the how the other elements addressed impacts upon patient care.

As a current student, I feel very privileged to be undertaking my degree now, and help implement the changes, as well as be able to see how they ultimately improve patient care for the better.





Health Sciences Spending Review Changes

From much discussion, and large debate; the rep team have come up with the following policy proposed for debate at University of Students Union Council on 8th December. Here is a sneak peek!

Union Notes

Current NHS Bursary System

  1. Currently Nurses, Midwives, Podiatrists, Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapy have their degree funded via an NHS bursary, although it pays around 20 – 30% less than the loan it is not repayable.
  2. Currently funded Health Science Students receive a reduced bursary in their final year in line with other students even though many degree courses do not finish until September of the graduating year. The NHS bursary is means tested, for a student who is not eligible for the bursary in their final year the maximum they will receive is only £2800 – £1000 grant from NHS bursary which is not means tested, and £1800 as a maintenance loan from Student Finance England.
  3. Currently funded Health Science Students are able to claim travel and accommodation of placement under the NHS Bursary. Students may be placed all over the UK meaning that students will often spend hours of their day travelling to placement, or living in nearby accommodation meaning that they will often be away from campus for long periods of time.
  4. Currently the NHS bursary is paid for by The NHS Business Services Authority, it receives its funding from the Department of Health and the scheme is ultimately governed by the Secretary of State for Health.



Proposed Government Changes to Funding and Student Nurse Cap Removal

  1. The NHS Bursary will be scrapped for a student loan, this means that students will receive 20-30% more than which they currently do with the NHS Bursary.
  2. The proposed changes will be introduced for the cohort commencing their degree in Sept 2017.
  3. Health Science degrees will be exempt from the rule preventing students who already have a degree accessing further loan finance.
  4. Under the new proposals for loan financing this allows the government to remove the cap on the number of student nurses.
  5. Student maintenance grants are being scrapped.

Issues associated with the proposed changes, and current funding.

  1. There is currently a shortage of placement places, the increase in nurse numbers will place a greater strain on local NHS Trusts to allocate places.
  2. It is not known how the allocation of funding to NHS trusts by LETB’s will be affected if more higher education institutions begin to offer Nursing.
  3. Health Sciences students who complete a degree will enter the NHS as a ‘band 5’ this will mean that the pay will be around 21.7k, on top of expensive regulatory body and trade union fees these students will look to pay around £379/yr.
  4. There has been no guarantee that students travel and accommodation expenses will be reimbursed.
  5. With the new proposals it is likely more institutions will begin to offer Nursing, causing greater competition in league tables, for jobs and postgraduate courses. Although this would not be an overnight issue, higher institutions would need to meet strict regulatory body guidelines before they can begin to offer Nursing, and other health science degrees.
  6. There is no guarantee that the new loan system will take in to account the longer length of the final year for most Health Science degrees.
  7. Although students with a first degree have been offered the student loan for Health Science degrees, the idea of having over £80k of debt will be very unappealing for students.
  8. There has been very little student consultation/input regarding the proposed changes.
  9. The average graduate job pays £25k, with the proposed spending review, there has been no discussion around increasing the £21.7k band 5 pay rate.
  10. The move to a student loan will mean that the £1000 non-means tested grant will be removed.
  11. Healthcare Scientists currently do not receive an NHS Bursary, they receive £1750/yr as a grant from Health Education Wessex, although this helps with placement, it is not enough to cover placements which span longer than 8 weeks. Alongside this, the grant is not guaranteed to be provided every year and can be scrapped at any time.




General Information

  1. Health Science students often undertake a placement part of their degree, they work alongside a graduate of their profession often working shifts as long as 13 hours for zero pay. Students are ‘Supernumerary’, this means that students are not included in staffing levels, but often undertake a caseload of the work.
  2. Many students work alongside their studies as they find that the bursary is not financially stable for them.
  3. There is currently an e-petition online relating to the scrap of the bursaries, which has reached the 100,000 mark meaning it will be debated in parliament, the petition has been accepted by parliament as a debatable issue and has been given the date of 11th January for debate. The issue with the e-petition is that it only addresses student nurses within the title, however the bursary changes apply to all health science degrees. –
  4. There is currently no plans to increase band 5 pay, the Kings Fund ( reports that those in a band 5 position have had a real term cut of around 3.1% in terms of inflation.
  5. Health science degrees have a large attrition rate, many students upon graduating choose to work abroad and NHS Trusts often find it hard to retain staff.
  6. Placements are allocated based upon regions defined by Local Education Training Boards ‘LETB’s’, they receive funding from Health Education England. They give funding to NHS Trusts within the region to take on students from universities providing Health Science Degrees. The LETB for The University of Southampton is Health Education Wessex.
  7. The Faculty of Health Sciences and Council of Deans have given their initial backing for the proposed changes
  8. The societies within Health Sciences have given their backing for this policy proposal.
  9. Due to the regulation of students within Health Science programmes, it is important that no campaign/protest breaches any Code of Conduct guideline.



Union Believes

  1. It is important to fill the shortages of Nurses within the NHS, and address attrition rates within degrees.
  2. Students from disadvantaged backgrounds will be most affected by the scrap of the maintenance grant, with many leaving higher education with debts in excess of £50k, It is likely these students will be put off from starting a degree due to the lack of financial support.
  3. There will be a greater demand and competition for Health Science postgraduate places, and jobs within the NHS.
  4. There needs be to a band 5 pay review and better incentives offered by NHS trusts if students are to pay for their degree.
  5. That where a placement section makes up a large proportion of a degree programme, there should be availability to claim back expenses or have suitable financial support for travel and accommodation.
  6. Although the student loan will be available to students who have completed a first degree, the idea of having to pay back over 100k for two degrees will put many students off switching to health sciences.
  7. As a student union it has a duty to campaign for its member’s best interests, influence public and government opinion and campaign for policy change.
  8. The change to a student loan should reflect the amount of weeks Health Science students are spent studying.
  9. There should be suitable placement places available, which cover a wide variety of primary and secondary care, for students studying at the University of Southampton. While studying on these placements, students should have their supernumerary status honoured and should never be included in staffing levels.
  10. That the union cannot take an official stance on the proposed bursary changes, as currently information suggests students will be more financially stable under the proposed move to a loan based system. However the issues addressed with the proposed change, and the lack of information means the union cannot back the proposal.


Union Resolves

  1. To condemn the government for the removal of the maintenance grant, poor student consultation on the proposed changes to student funding and the retrospective changes to student loan repayments and to support any actions compelling the government to change their position (including promotion of e-petitions etc.).
  2. To take a neutral stance on the proposed bursary changes and cap removal at this present time, as there is little information currently available to take an informed stance. This stance can be later reviewed when more information is later available on the proposed changes.
  3. That although we have taken a neutral stance, we need to campaign for the issues proposed to be addressed by the government, ensuring that the transition to student loan ultimately benefits students.
  4. To support any protest which the working group supports, coordinated by any of the relevant trade unions, and to ensure that support is provided to ensure our members can attend these protests.
  5. To work with members of the Students Union to get involved with, campaigning, voicing their opinion and facilitate student involvement in the proposed changes, and to raise awareness of the proposed changes via social media and publicity.
  6. To encourage students to campaign/protest within the guidelines of their regulatory body so that they do not breach their Code of Conduct.
  7. To work with a broad spectrum of organisations with relevance to this issue, including the NUS, other non-NUS affiliated Students’ Unions, Trade Unions, the University of Southampton and the Council of Deans and any other involved parties, to lobby for the following issues proposed with the change to the loans-based system to be addressed for Health Science Students:
    1. Ensuring that students who have to travel to or stay in local accommodation for their compulsory placement are still able to claim expenses, and adequate financial support is provided.
    2. That there will be suitable financial support in place for all students, no matter of financial background, as the move to student loans will mean the demise of the £1000 non-means tested grant.
    3. To perform a review of how placement funding is allocated to Healthcare Science students and ensure that they have financial support.
    4. That the local NHS Trusts, currently assigned to the University of Southampton by Health Education Wessex should have protected placement places for University of Southampton students.
    5. There is additional financial support for students who are coming from OFFA-countable groups such as those students from low-income households or households with low-involvement in higher education.
    6. That the decrease in loan for final year Health Science students be addressed and that the additional amount of weeks of University contact time are taken in to account when considering the loan which is paid to Health Science Students.
    7. That due to the increased amount of Student Nurses there should be greater incentives for local NHS trusts to employ graduates from the University of Southampton.
    8. That the University of Southampton, does not reduce the quality of its Nursing degree by talking in excessive numbers of students.
    9. That the government perform a pay review of Band 5 graduates to bring the pay rate in line with most other graduate jobs.
    10. That there is the possibility of having the debt wiped after a suitable period of service is given back to the NHS.
    11. There is better incentives for students with a first degree to undertake a Health Sciences degree as a postgraduate qualification.
    12. That students should be involved in discussions surrounding the proposed changes.
  8. That a working group be created immediately to coordinate the Union’s stance towards this very serious matter, consisting of the following members (plus any other additionally interested parties):
    1. The Sabbatical Officer responsible for Education (in the chair)
    2. The Union President
    3. The Sabbatical Officer responsible for Engagement
    4. The Health Sciences Faculty Officer
    5. The Academic Presidents within Health Sciences.
  9. That the working group shall meet as soon as is feasible.
  10. That the working group be adequately resourced in order that it can act in line with the goals outlined in Resolves.
  11. That due to the topical nature of the proposed changes, is it likely the working group will need to review the issues it is addressing and implement change.
  12. That due to the proposed changes not being implemented until September 2017, the working group duration will be indefinite.
  13. That the working group will later decide the stance in which it takes on the proposed changes once more information is available.s
  14. That the working group will decide which national campaigns/protests by organisations are relevant to supporting the working group’s stance.
  15. That the working group will feedback to Education Zone.
  16. Ensure that students campaign within the guidance of their regulatory body.
  17. Working group will be in quorum when the following members are president – Sabbatical Officer for Education, the Health Sciences Faculty Officer and a minimum of 2 Academic Presidents from Health Sciences


Union Mandates

  1. The Union President and Sabbatical Officer responsible for Education to work with Local MP’s and those who have registered their support, and to also work with various organisations, including the NUS, other non-NUS affiliated Students’ Unions, Trade Unions, the University of Southampton and the Council of Deans.
  2. The Sabbatical Officer responsible for Education to setup and chair the working group.
  3. The Sabbatical Officer responsible for Engagement to use available resources to raise awareness of the proposed changes through the use of various platforms.
  4. The Health Sciences Faculty Officer to work with all Academic Representatives within the faculty of Health Sciences to, support and lobby for the issues proposed in this policy via the following:
    1. Use various social media platforms including Twitter and Facebook to inform the student body of the work the team and the working group are undertaking on the Spending Review changes.
    2. Ensure that relevant feedback from the working group is presented to Faculty level SSLC’s as a standing item.
    3. Work with senior staff within the faculty to lobby for the proposed issues to be addressed.
    4. To ensure that there are opportunities for any member of the union to get involved with the ongoing work towards the proposed changes.
    5. Advise the working group of professional regulatory bodies, so that there is no risk students do not breach their Code of Conduct, bringing their profession in to disrepute.
  5. That relevant Sabbatical Officers, Student Leaders and Voluntary Officers, work collaboratively to support local and national campaign efforts which have been agreed by the working group, and facilitate participation by Union Members.

Proposed: Daniel Browning (Health Sciences Faculty Officer)
Seconded: Calum Lyon (Nursing Academic President)
Aisling Butler (Occupational Therapy Academic President)
Samy Roshdy (Physiotherapy Academic President)
Johnny Barber (Podiatry Academic President)

SUSU Policy on changes to the bursary and cap removal

I’m taking a policy to the next Union Council here is a list of issues I’d like the union council to lobby for – Expect this list to change

  1. Ensuring that students who have to travel to or stay in local accommodation for their compulsory placement are still able to claim expenses, and adequate financial support is provided.
  2. To perform a review of how placement funding is allocated to Healthcare Science students.
  3. That the local NHS Trusts, currently assigned to the University of Southampton by Health Education Wessex should have protected placement places for University of Southampton students.
  4. There is additional financial support for students who are coming from OFFA-countable groups such as those students from low-income households or households with low-involvement in higher education.
  5. That the decrease in loan for final year Health Science students be addressed and that the additional amount of weeks of University contact time are taken in to account when considering the loan which is paid to Health Science Students.
  6. That due to the increased amount of Student Nurses there should be greater incentives for local NHS trusts to employ graduates from the University of Southampton.
  7. That the University of Southampton, does not reduce the quality of its Nursing degree by talking in excessive numbers of students.
  8. That the government perform a pay review of Band 5 graduates to bring the pay rate in line with most other graduate jobs.
  9. That there is the possibility of having the debt wiped after a suitable period of service is given back to the NHS.
  10. There is better incentives for students with a first degree to undertake a Health Sciences degree as a postgraduate qualification.

Changes to NHS Bursary and Cap Removal – My View

After spending the last 2 days listening to everyone on Facebook, Twitter and students within my faculty. I am unable to come to an opinion on the proposed changes to student bursary and the cap removal.

NHS Bursary Changes 

Should it really be free?
Upon undertaking my degree, I did not realise that the degree was funded by the NHS. It was only be chance that I found out about this while on an open day. I thought it were a great privilege that my degree was going to be funded meaning that I would have little debt upon degree completion.

However in reflection, I often ask myself “Should we get a free degree?” I understand that compared to many other degrees students within health sciences are often in lectures 9-5 everyday and often work long shifts on placement, for example my current placement does 13 hour long day shifts! However, compared to other degrees where students have 3 exams per module and have 9-5 lectures like us, is it really fair that they have to pay and we don’t?

Will moving to a loan benefit me financially?
In the short term while studying – Yes, the Council of Deans have released a table which shows 20 – 30% increases in peoples finances while studying. However it does mean that you will have to repay the degree upon completion, although it is only £5.25 a month. On top of expensive regulatory body and trade union fees this will work at around £379 per year, if we take for example a band 5 job which will pay around £1468 per month after tax this will mean quite a substantial loss. There has been some discussion around service rewards, for example if a graduate works for the NHS for a duration of time, because of the time and effort they have given back to the public sector; should their debt be wiped?

Surely there isn’t anyone who would of taken a health sciences degree because it were free?
I agree! And I hope this isn’t the case, however there is a high attrition rate for nurses around the first placement mark, there could be many reasons for this such as not feeling supported or students genuinely feeling that it isn’t for them. However, I do expect that there will be the few individuals who do not realise what the degree truly entails and will realise this around the first placement mark. I also expect that the proposed changes will increase lecture attendance, as many people will now feel more obliged to attend lectures if they are going to be paying for their degree.

Health Sciences students often get little break time and in their final year often do not finish until around September time due to the workload, is it fair that we can be given the same loan system as everyone else?
A very important point which has been raised as well, currently in our final year our maintenance loan is reduced in loan with other degrees. Even though we do not complete our degree until around September time meaning we have a winter graduation, I completely agree that the degree length time which is being funded needs to be reconsidered.

Because I’m now paying for my degree, will there be the opportunity to learn more clinical skills within university such as cannulation and IV’s?
I think that if students are beginning to pay for their degree, they will expect more clinical experiences and further skills which currently are not included by the NMC for students to graduate. I also believe that if students are paying for their degree, the whole issue around pay for health science degrees post graduation needs to be addressed. Also I believe that NHS trusts need to bring in further incentives to get the best students with the proposed cap changes.

Cap Removal

Will the removal of the cap on places mean that it is harder for me to get a placement?
Potentially yes, currently NHS trusts are struggling to find places to allocate student, the proposed 10’000 more student nurses will mean that it will be even harder to fill these spots.

I didn’t get in to Nursing at … University, will there be more of a chance for me to get a place?
I believe that this will be true, it is likely that more higher institutions will now start offering Nursing as a degree meaning there will be more competition for places and within league tables.

Will there be a decrease in quality of my lectures due to an influx in numbers?
I strongly believe that universities will not take more students than which they can facilitate for, I believe that university spots will become more competitive and there will be more institutions offering Nursing.

Things I’d like to see addressed

  • Currently travel and accommodation is reimbursed, how will this work under the new system?
  • How will the decrease in loan in the final year be addressed?
  • What additional financial opportunities will be available?
  • What is the possibility of having the debt wiped if there is a period of service dedicated to the NHS?
  • How will introduction of the loan reflect on education and pay post-graduation?
  • How will the increased demand on placements be addressed?
  • Will there be further postgraduate opportunities?
  • How will the protection of student supernumeracy be addressed?


I’d like to thank everyone for their feedback and contribution to the topic, the council of deans has posted some very useful information on the current proposed plans –

Many students are also using the hashtag #keepthebursary to voice their opinion on the proposed changes.