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How to save money as a student nurse

New nursing students this month should claim fuel reimbursements, car share and eat packed lunch to make their money go as far as possible, updated advice from the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) says. 

The RCN has issued updated advice in its latest ‘Student Money Guide’ for the 21,870 students who have been accepted to nursing courses in the UK as of A-Level results day this year (15 August). 

The guide covers different funding sources in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, alongside the benefits that some nursing students may be able to claim.  

It also gives money-saving tips, including:  

  • Develop a good relationship with your bank - meet and go through all the options and accounts which will save you the most money and give you the best interest rates  

  • Use online materials, the RCN Library for example, instead of buying textbooks - If you do buy them, try advertising on university notice boards for second-hand copies, or, have a look at ABE Books. It offers cashback from Quidco  

  • Get a Young Persons Rail Card if you spend over £72 a year on rail travel - all full-time students are eligible, regardless of age  

  • Claim fuel reimbursement if you drive further to placement than to university – it is offered, so you might as well 

  • Be penny-wise, seek out free pickings - go to sites like for free furniture, kitchenware and bicycles  

  • Check out your local discount warehouses for basics, cleaning products, toilet rolls, wash powder and buy these as a household to split the cost of a bulk buy – it is well worth it 

  • Share lifts to placement and do food shops with fellow students 

  • Make sure your supermarket shop is cheapest - check online comparison sites like ahead of your shop 

  • Use your local butchers and market - always ask for a student discount 

  • Take a packed lunch and flask to university – You will save a small fortune and probably eat better 

The advice comes as the College continues to campaign for the Government to invest at least £1 billion in nurse higher education in order to reverse the reduction in the number of students both applying to and taking up places on nursing degree courses. 

Claire Cannings, Senior Welfare Adviser said that the placement element of a nursing degree means that there is less time for part-time work, and the long shifts mean childcare and travel is often more expensive, compared to most undergraduate degrees. 

She continued: 'Fluency with finances, brilliance with budgeting and keeping clued-up on things complimentary can pay dividends. This can, in turn, impact positively on study and well-being through a student’s learning years and beyond. It’s amazing how many grants and funds students are entirely unaware of which is why we’ve collated all the information they need in one place.   

'While the RCN will still be making the case to Government to invest in nursing education, we hope the guide will continue to be a valuable resource to our current and potential members.' 

Earlier this week (24 September), a new survey suggested that nearly half of student midwives have considered leaving their courses due to financial pressure and debt.