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Should student nurses be paid a ‘living wage’ on placement?

Thursday, February 25th, 2016 | Blog

Many student nurses regularly find themselves working fulltime, unpaid placements, leaving little time to earn much needed money through bar or retail jobs many other students become accustomed to working in order to keep their finances in the black.

Working up to 37.5 hours a week with various shift patterns is a hard enough job for many fully qualified and experienced nurses, but when you’re new to the industry, having to keep on top of university work and work for free makes the whole process a lot harder.

Okay, so most do receive their non-means tested bursary. Meaning they get a whopping £1000 a year to live off. As I’m sure you can imagine, in the real world this doesn’t stretch too far – perhaps a couple of months rent at best.

Thankfully, student nurses aren’t on their own with this one and calls have been made to pay student nurses a living wage.

The proposal was recently made at Unison’s annual healthcare conference and delegates at the event passed the motion, meaning a campaign has now been launched to rally support and action the much needed payment.

If given the go ahead, it would put an end to trainee nurses and healthcare students being seen as free labour; allowing them to earn a decent wage whilst training to become much needed nurses.

If you’re a student nurse who struggling for money and working hard on placement to achieve your qualifications, we’d love to hear from you. Comment below how you’re affected by working full-time unpaid placements and what you think would help make your studies and placement easier.



Image: Flickr - Pictures of Money

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