An MP, Paul Scully, argued that student nurses should be salaried, rather than given bursaries at an event yesterday.
He said student nurses are often working in clinical roles that are not supernumeracy positions, going above the expectations of student nurses and “we need to be straight about the pressures on nurses and how we reward them”.
“We are talking about bursaries, but I would rather be straightforward and call it what it should be, which is a salary,” the Conservative MP for Sutton and Cheam added, at the debate in the House of Commons yesterday.
The debate came about after 155,044 people signed a petition against the cut to student bursaries, which was proposed in the Autumn Budget.
Nursing students, he added, have less time than other students to do a part-time job as they are effectively working 37 or 38 hours a week, although it is 50% placement time in theory, especially as their courses last for 42 weeks a year—many other courses last for only 30 weeks a year.
Andrea Jenkyns, a Conservative MP for Morley and Outwood, explained that by making nursing students salaries, this would fall in line with current systems for trainee teachers and doctors, which would be great as “nursing is a vocation, too,” she added.
Scully concluded: “Bursaries are effectively gifts, which can be taken away. If someone is working hard in a position that is not supernumerary, we need to examine that.”