Pay student nurses minimum living wage

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I’m a Student Nurse - I love what I do, I love everyone I’ve met on placement, and more than anything, I love the people that make up the NHS.

But in all honesty being a nurse is a real struggle, and being a student nurse, having to work 37.5 hours a week and paid nothing, is even harder. As a student we need to make up 2,300 clinical hours of hospital hours, as stated by the Nursing and Midwifery Council, so that we can join the register. Other, more traditional degrees don’t require this. I love the practical experience I get, but the fact that we aren’t paid makes it feel like we’re just free labour for the NHS.

Bursaries for nurses have been scrapped. Many of us are working part time, some even full time hours, as well as the 37.5 hours of placement, just to get some money coming in. I’m doing my placement hours but also working on the side, most of the time doing 6 day weeks sometimes 7 day weeks just to get by.

A lot has been said about mental health awareness in recent months, especially for university students - the number of suicides in universities is rising. These statistic resonate with me because the amount of work I do to get by is a big strain on my mental health, the stress, the financial worry, the lack of rest.

That’s I’m calling for a minimum living wage for all student nurses, to ensure we aren’t wearing ourselves out, putting not only ourselves at risk but also the patients we come across day to day.

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