HEALTH: 90,000 back petition to reverse cuts to bursaries for junior nurses
A junior nurse has gained the support of more than 90,000 against the government’s decision to scrap student bursaries in England and replace them with loans.
Danielle 29, who started a petition on Change.org is in her final year at King’s College university and does placements at St Mary’s Hospital in London. She told how a bursary was her “lifeline” and the only way she would have made it through her training.
She said: “As student nurses we work nights, weekends, long days and anytime within a 24/7 period.
“In an already strained healthcare system student nurses plug the gaps which are present due to government underfunding of the NHS, we are the glue that holds the wards together.
“Being part of the NHS makes me feel very proud. My bursary is my lifeline, it has helped me pay my rent through university and I am eternally grateful to have received it. Without it I simply would not have applied to be a nurse.
Danielle and student nurse campaigners will be staging their next demonstration against the bursary cuts outside St Thomas’ Hospital in London on June 4.
Danielle added: “I am originally from a small village in Cornwall. The prospect of taking out a loan, to be paid back from an already capped salary that has lost 14% since 2010 would have sadly been too daunting for me.
“I didn’t have A Levels so I’m not a normal student, but I care about my patients and i want to be able to support them, be there for them when they are scared of their operation and reassure them, cuddle a family member when they receive bad news and make that comforting cup of tea.
“I want to be privileged enough to be there to make sure no one is alone in their final moments and that I am there to hold their hand and give them the love and respect they deserve. Why does the government want to destroy the dreams of student nurses like me?”
Change.org petitions are now embeddable. Any mention of a campaign can now be paired with the visual (just as you’d embed tweets in a piece about a topic on Twitter). Our product team put up a handy ‘how-to’ here, and they’d love any feedback you have on process, design and/or functionality.