I have just written to my MP Mark Harper about funding our future student nurses!
You can support us nurses by writing to your local MP on our behalf!
‘Hello, my name is Charlotte Hall I am a newly qualified registered nurse, I work in Gloucester Royal Hospital in the acute medical unit. Alongside this, I also work in the surrounding community health care services. I am writing to ask you to support a new campaign led by the Royal College of Nursing, it is called #FundOurFuture. The campaign is calling for the Government to make sure the new Long Term Plan for the NHS in England prioritises investment in nursing higher education.
Right now, the NHS in England is short almost 42,000 nurses and the RCN estimates by 2023 this will rise to almost 48,000. Put simply, without enough nurses your constituents won’t receive the care they need in the future. I am desperately struggling to provide that safe care now and I am exhausted. I very rarely leave my shifts on time due to the patient care load and short staffing. We often have to skip our unpaid breaks to complete legal documents, provide personal care, vital medications and talk to relatives, as there is not enough staff on duty to take over the workload.
Government reforms to nursing higher education have failed.
Since reforms were introduced in 2016 we’ve seen numbers drop year on year and it’s no surprise that there are 1800 fewer nurses with a place due to start at university. The cost of becoming a nurse is turning people away, just when we need them the most. Nursing students urgently need more financial support if the government is ever going to tackle the workforce crisis.
Nursing students are different from other students. I barely made it through the degree due to financial hardship. my partner and I had to live with my parents just so I could afford to continue studying.
Student nurses spend 40-45 weeks on their course – up to 50% more than other students. This means they don’t have time for a part-time job to earn extra money to support ourselves. They also spend 50% of their time in placement, learning in a hospital or out in the community. Sometimes wards are so short staffed they’ re used to plug the gaps and have to look after patients before they feel ready to. This is not safe or fair!
I have only been working less than a year as a registered nurse and I already fully understand why nurses are leaving this profession. Working conditions are becoming unbearable, Morale is at an all-time low. I absolutely love my job, and I want to do the job more than anything, however it’s continuing to be physically and mentally draining on a day to day basis, during and after my shifts I am left to feel like I am failing the patients as I am not able to meet their needs safely. I feel that nurses are not currently supported by this government to implement safe care to our patients. Please consider the dangers of underfunding nursing education for our future, and I say our future because it affects all of us, including you.
We need you to support nursing students.
As your constituent, I’m asking you to write to Simon Stevens, and the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, calling on them to invest a minimum of £1bn a year back into nursing higher education.
I hope I can count on your support.’
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