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Student Nurses

NHS Student Bursary CUT in Spending Cuts

Nursing Notes

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NHS Bursary Cut

George Osbourne has today announced that the NHS Student Bursary and tuition fee payment is to be scrapped under the latest government spending cuts. 

The cuts mean that NHS funded courses such as Nursing and Midwifery will now be subject to the £9000 per year tuition fee payment that is in place for other university level courses in England.

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The Council of Deans has confirmed (1) changes will not affect current students and the current system will remain in place for applicants in 2016/17 and for the duration of their training.

Changes will come into force for students starting in the academic year 2017/2018.
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Osbourne’s cuts will see student nurses graduating university with a total student debt of up to £50,000 to only see an initial salary of £21,692 – a figure that has changed very little in the last 10 years.

RELATED: 10 FACTS ABOUT BECOMING A STUDENT NURSE

Scrapping the current system will however allow Universities and NHS Trusts to have more control over their admission system and bring up to 10,000 more places which could be the first move to ease the nursing staffing crisis in the UK.

Student Nurses are calling for action from the Royal College of Nurses – it is argued that the current bursary system better supports student Nurses and Midwives who spend up to 37.5 hours per week on their unpaid placement and enables students who wouldn’t otherwise be financially able to access to the course.

This change comes during a time of ongoing upset between NHS staff and the government following the announced that Junior Doctors will strike in December in a dispute over pay and working conditions.

You can sign the petition against the changes here.

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16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Liz Bloomfield

    25th November 2015 at 6:58 pm

    i really do not know what to say, i can see that other courses see the nursing midwifery bursary as unfair. when i trained we trained in a school of nursing attached to a hospital or group of hospitals. i suppose although called students we were in fact apprentices. because we started at 18 board was free and our meals were free. we worked a 40 hour week and our salaries were low but we were single and managed on what we earned. we had an excellent training and the tutors were also excellent. times have changed more mature people entering the profession with families to provide for, bills to pay etc. does this government want to bring the profession and the NHS to its knees?? they are certainly going the right way to do so. i am a proud nurse with 50 years working, retired but still work on the nurse bank. so disappointed in the way the service is being eroded. feel for all students finishing with a degree and in debt before they start their working lives in whatever career they have chosen.

  2. Liz Bloomfield

    25th November 2015 at 6:58 pm

    i really do not know what to say, i can see that other courses see the nursing midwifery bursary as unfair. when i trained we trained in a school of nursing attached to a hospital or group of hospitals. i suppose although called students we were in fact apprentices. because we started at 18 board was free and our meals were free. we worked a 40 hour week and our salaries were low but we were single and managed on what we earned. we had an excellent training and the tutors were also excellent. times have changed more mature people entering the profession with families to provide for, bills to pay etc. does this government want to bring the profession and the NHS to its knees?? they are certainly going the right way to do so. i am a proud nurse with 50 years working, retired but still work on the nurse bank. so disappointed in the way the service is being eroded. feel for all students finishing with a degree and in debt before they start their working lives in whatever career they have chosen.

  3. Cheryl

    25th November 2015 at 7:14 pm

    So maybe all the other courses that include this 9k tuition fee should also have work placements to the equivalent hours a student nurse works. The fact they have to work along side their mentor to be signed off so have very little say in their hours which include nights, earliest, weekend and the good ole bank holidays too. Also the profiencies they have to achieve, at the correct boundy level, all the evidence they have to collect and write, the practical exams in theory and placement, the written exams and assignments. The course actually takes up around 50+ hours with this all included. I fear it will cause more students to do banking shifts to support themselves, meaning they are more tired, less focused and essentially the quality of our nhs nurses will significantly be reduced!also there opening salary is not very good so paying off all that debt, I think there will be more of a shortage!

  4. Cheryl

    25th November 2015 at 7:14 pm

    So maybe all the other courses that include this 9k tuition fee should also have work placements to the equivalent hours a student nurse works. The fact they have to work along side their mentor to be signed off so have very little say in their hours which include nights, earliest, weekend and the good ole bank holidays too. Also the profiencies they have to achieve, at the correct boundy level, all the evidence they have to collect and write, the practical exams in theory and placement, the written exams and assignments. The course actually takes up around 50+ hours with this all included. I fear it will cause more students to do banking shifts to support themselves, meaning they are more tired, less focused and essentially the quality of our nhs nurses will significantly be reduced!also there opening salary is not very good so paying off all that debt, I think there will be more of a shortage!

  5. Natalie Jewell

    25th November 2015 at 9:01 pm

    I suppose the reason we have a bursary is because student nurses were rostered until 1998 when they became supernumerary. However, just because students aren’t included in the ward staffing anymore it doesn’t mean they aren’t working hard during placement hours.

  6. Natalie Jewell

    25th November 2015 at 9:01 pm

    I suppose the reason we have a bursary is because student nurses were rostered until 1998 when they became supernumerary. However, just because students aren’t included in the ward staffing anymore it doesn’t mean they aren’t working hard during placement hours.

  7. Claire Bryans

    25th November 2015 at 10:27 pm

    I’m on placement at the minute. Including my travel time, I’ve been doing fifteen hour days. Thirty hours in the last two days. At least I have the bursary to keep me afloat though it barely does that. But imagine doing all that work to end up with a huge debt at the end of it. This is really awful news.

  8. Claire Bryans

    25th November 2015 at 10:27 pm

    I’m on placement at the minute. Including my travel time, I’ve been doing fifteen hour days. Thirty hours in the last two days. At least I have the bursary to keep me afloat though it barely does that. But imagine doing all that work to end up with a huge debt at the end of it. This is really awful news.

  9. Samantha Bigg

    25th November 2015 at 11:17 pm

    As a mature nursing student I am struggling anyway with my 3 children, 2 jobs, essays, studying, exams, full time placements and anything else life wants to throw at me. I feel the current bursary is not enough let alone cutting it out altogether and paying tuition fees on top of that. The NHS will lose mature students along with the very valuable life skills that they bring with them, not saying younger students are not enough but there needs to be a mixture in ages to get a good balance. It makes me so angry that they could even consider this as an option.

  10. Samantha Bigg

    25th November 2015 at 11:17 pm

    As a mature nursing student I am struggling anyway with my 3 children, 2 jobs, essays, studying, exams, full time placements and anything else life wants to throw at me. I feel the current bursary is not enough let alone cutting it out altogether and paying tuition fees on top of that. The NHS will lose mature students along with the very valuable life skills that they bring with them, not saying younger students are not enough but there needs to be a mixture in ages to get a good balance. It makes me so angry that they could even consider this as an option.

  11. Davidoff

    26th November 2015 at 10:31 am

    What the public do not realise is that although the talk is to allow more spaces for universities to offer more students a spot on the course, that is for the most part, not an option either. My University used to provide two intakes per year, a September and a March. However, there is not enough room OUT IN THE HOSPITALS for all the students to do their placements. In my first year, because of numbers, I was last out on placement from March thru August. At 37.5 hours per week. A 6 week placement which i finished on the friday, to start my 12 week on the monday. That was 4.5 months Unpaid fulltime work. If i did not receive the bursary There is no way I would of been able to do that. I had essays and was forced to work bank shifts on top of that just to afford to get to and from my placement.

    • John Dade

      27th November 2015 at 2:41 pm

      Very good point David. I tutor on another programme affected (ODP) and yes we can squeeze more in the classroom but our partner hospitals cannot gaurantee the provision of an increased number of quality placements and qualified mentors.

  12. Davidoff

    26th November 2015 at 10:31 am

    What the public do not realise is that although the talk is to allow more spaces for universities to offer more students a spot on the course, that is for the most part, not an option either. My University used to provide two intakes per year, a September and a March. However, there is not enough room OUT IN THE HOSPITALS for all the students to do their placements. In my first year, because of numbers, I was last out on placement from March thru August. At 37.5 hours per week. A 6 week placement which i finished on the friday, to start my 12 week on the monday. That was 4.5 months Unpaid fulltime work. If i did not receive the bursary There is no way I would of been able to do that. I had essays and was forced to work bank shifts on top of that just to afford to get to and from my placement.

    • John Dade

      27th November 2015 at 2:41 pm

      Very good point David. I tutor on another programme affected (ODP) and yes we can squeeze more in the classroom but our partner hospitals cannot gaurantee the provision of an increased number of quality placements and qualified mentors.

  13. Elaine Donnelly

    27th November 2015 at 3:57 pm

    The end result will be a crisis in recruitment and a shortage of nurses. We will then be forced to recruit qualified nurses from other countries so depleting them of essential staff.

  14. Elaine Donnelly

    27th November 2015 at 3:57 pm

    The end result will be a crisis in recruitment and a shortage of nurses. We will then be forced to recruit qualified nurses from other countries so depleting them of essential staff.

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Student Nurses

My ‘average’ day as a Student Nurse

Deirdre Mulvenna-Pegrum

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My 'average' day as a Student Nurse

Ohhh… What is that beeping noise? Stop it! Go and see why that patient keeps pressing the buzzer, will you? Oh, no, wait. It’s my alarm.

Out of bed, still dark, lucky the heating has just come on.  My dogs are weaving in and out of my legs, more excited than I to be up at this ungodly hour – again.

Time to wander downstairs, get that kettle on. First cup of the day – but possibly my last drink until my break time.  Make the most of it.  Dogs into the garden, thank goodness, no barking this early.  Come on you two, time for biscuits.  At least I know my husband will give them a walk when he gets up – when it is light and the birds have stopped their dawn chorus.  What am I saying?  It’s too dark for even that yet!

Right, tea done.  Cannot face breakfast at this hour – just have to hope I get a fifteen-minute break later and be able to get some toast…. Into the shower.  The dogs follow me upstairs and settle back into their cosy beds.  Thanks.  I feel even better about going out into that drizzly, dark morning.

RELATED: 10 FACTS ABOUT BEING A STUDENT NURSE.

Uniform on.  Coat needed, it is chilly today.  Rucksack with portfolio, check.  Parking scratch card, check.  Car keys, check.  5.50am, out of the house.  Headlights on full.  I hate the drive to work in the dark and come home in the dark days – it is a really hard slog.  Sometimes I try to go for a walk during my break just to get outside and see the sun and inhale some good, clean air, rather than antiseptic and sickness.

It’s a long drive to the hospital.  It is more enjoyable as the roads are quiet at this time of day – I think doing this in rush hour would finish me off.  Arrive safely.  Parking good too this time of day, so no mile walk from the car park – especially as the rain has just started now.  I head into placement, ten minutes early.  Time to put my bag in a cupboard – no lockers for us students.  I always worry about leaving anything valuable there.  No offence intended to anyone.  I have learned to carry my cash – a small amount – in my uniform pocket – which is not ideal, but needs must.

Wash my hands, remember the wrists and finger tips – you never know who is observing you.  Into the ward.  Good, my mentor is not here yet.  I grab a seat.  The thing about nursing is, grab a seat while you may, it does not happen often!

Time for handover.  Not many in-patients today.  Good, but the ones we have will keep us busy – I’m sure.

Check the list – we have eighteen patients, more male than female, due into the ward today.  I will wait until my mentor tells me which side to work on.  I guess I shall end up helping whoever needs me though – as is usual.  I do not mind this.  It allows me to see how different nurses, both male and female, work and how they treat and care for their patients.

When I first arrived at this placement, one nurse treated me like a porter; go the pharmacy, walk this patient to the entrance to meet their lift.  I put up with precisely one day of this.  I asked my mentor, ever so subtly, if the other staff were aware I was actually a third year, not a first year, and that I would really appreciate observing them if they did not want me to actually do things instead.  That did not happen again.

Eight o’clock.  Breakfast time.  Then observations and reporting any concerns.  Encouraging those who could to walk to the bathroom, making sure they are steady.  Check to see when they should be discharged, and encourage them to get dressed and sit in the patient lounge.  Once they are there, and all their belongings packed up, time to get the paperwork on the go.  Check to see if they need appointments, check to see if they need to go home with instructions or drugs, and make sure they understand all about them.  Once their escort arrives, it is time to get the bed stripped and cleaned down, as theatre have been on wanting us to take another.

Theatre gets backed up as they cannot get the recovery bay clear.  It is so frustrating.  This continues all day.  We have three visits from the bed manager.  It is no good – we cannot make beds magically appear. We cannot discharge patients until they are ready.  We all feel under pressure, me included.

Time for a break.  Fifteen minutes.  I grab a coffee and a healthy snack bar.  I can eat them outside.  Back to the ward.

More patients.  These want to have a snack and leave.  Luckily, they are all able to.  We do not have anyone who needs extra care until after lunch – which was a lovely salad and a walk around the hospital – it’s raining too hard to venture outside, much as though I would love to.

The changeover has been constant.  We only have twelve beds, and have to rotate a minimum of eighteen patients, sometimes more, in a day through them.  It just takes a couple who do not recover well to hold this up.  Sometimes it is so busy I do not exchange more than a few words with my mentor.  We have to be constantly aware and observant of all the patients.

This is exhausting. I did not get another break this afternoon.  I do enjoy chatting with the patients though.  It is good to make them have a laugh when it is appropriate.  At least most of them went home smiling and happy.  Great – give them the friends and family card… Cynical old me.

Handover sheet updated.  I grab a sneaky seat – remember when I said earlier, take a seat when you can?  This, apart from my break, has been the second opportunity today.  Thank god for flight socks – my legs would need lifting into the car individually if I did not have these sexy beauties.

Handover is given to the night staff.  Hopefully, they will not have a difficulty shift.  There are only three patients staying in.  Problem is though, even though they are fully staffed, it is likely someone will come and steal one of the HCA’s, or even a nurse to work elsewhere in the hospital.

Time to go home.  Get my rucksack.  Did not have time for my mentor to do anything in my portfolio today.  Will just have to wait for the next shift.  It’s dark again.  Head lights on full.  Thank the lord for the light traffic.  I would hate to think about how I would feel stuck behind a learner or a tractor as I wend my weary way home.  God, the dogs will be sulking.

Home, bag down, my lovely dogs pleased to see me.  It is 8.30pm.  It has been a long day.  Time for a cuppa, ring my mum and make sure she is okay.  Then a quick shower and then I should be able to hear my pillow whistling for me.

Yup, there it goes.   Good night all.  Until 5am tomorrow…

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Education

Shift Planner for Nurses, Students & Support Staff

Matt B

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Shift Planner for Nurses, Students & Support Staff

Shift planning is essential for safe care, some people using a piece of paper others have their thoughts well arranged in their head, either way everybody does it.

This shift planner has been designed with newly qualified nurses and student nurses in mind but would be suitable for anybody to use.

You can download our Shift Planner for FREE. You are free to download, print and distribute our shift planner as you wish. You will need a PDF reader on your PC to download. 

The planner has been created with two primary columns, one for your main nursing priorities and one to remind you to hand over jobs to the next shift. It also features a small key and area for general notes. Due to limited space we have only included enough room to plan up to eight patients, if you need more we encourage you print doublesided.

We encourage you to make comments or suggestions in the comments section below. The most popular will be implemented in a version 2.

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