Student nurses helping to battle COVID-19 should have tuition fees scrapped, insists RCN

The RCN has also called for abolishing student-funded tuition fees for all future nursing, midwifery and allied healthcare students.

Laura Townsend
31 May 2020
Nursing university lecture

Over 26,000 nursing and midwifery students currently working on the frontlines.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has reignited calls for the Government to review funding arrangements for all nursing students in England.

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With over 26,000 nursing and midwifery students currently working on the frontlines in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, the College has called for tuition fees for the current academic year to be reimbursed.

The RCN, together with the Royal College of Midwives, National Union of Students and Unison, wrote to the Health and Social Care Secretary earlier this month.

They also enquired about abolishing student-funded tuition fees for all future nursing, midwifery and allied healthcare students.

This follows a commitment made by the Prime Minister to write to the Chair of the Education Select Committee, in response to calls from senior MPs, to review the funding arrangements for nursing students.

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Unions are also seeking the introduction of a universal cost of living maintenance grants that reflect actual student need.

Chair of the RCN Students Committee Jessica Sainsbury said; “It’s high time the government got behind student nurses by providing full tuition fee support and maintenance grants covering the true cost of living for all nursing students in England, both now and in the future.

“Any student who is in debt due to their nursing education should have their debt dropped.”

Mike Adams, Royal College of Nursing Director for England added; “The vital work student nurses have been doing throughout the pandemic has demonstrated the huge contribution nursing undergraduates make to our health and care services. Neither they nor future students should have to pay tuition fees to do this.

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“The Government must do all it can to ensure that anyone who wants to study to become a nurse is able to do so. No-one should feel they can’t become a nurse because they can’t afford it.”

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