Student nurses bursaries not fit for purpose, says UNISON report 

Date: Tuesday 02 June 2015

UNISON  is calling on the Scottish Government to urgently increase bursary rates for Student Nurses and Midwives in the next academic year. This recommendation is part of the UNISON’s report Caring, Learning and Worried about Money which was published today (Tuesday 2 June 2015).

The survey of student nurses across Scotland found that 85% of student nurses relied on financial support from family and 83% say they have been in debt in the last year. Around half (42%) were running up credit card debts, 14% took out a loan and 6% had turned to high street loan companies.

Matt McLaughlin UNISON’s regional organiser for the NHS said:
“The present system of funding student nurses and midwives is clearly unfit for purpose.

“We need a system which is based on a fundamental principle of fairness; which delivers a long lasting commitment to a Living Bursary and is unafraid of committing public money to doing so.

” Two thirds of student nurses and midwives are working part-time, some doing more than one job to  make ends meet, many working up to 25hrs or more per week.

” As students make very clear in our report they find juggling work placements, part-time jobs, and studying very stressful.”




Danny Phillips, UNISON communications officer, 07944 664110
Matt McLaughlin, UNISON regional organiser, 07904 341979

Notes to editor

Read the UNISON report Caring, Learning and Worried about money here:

For this survey, UNISON picked a sample of 10% of student nurses who were UNISON members respondents to our survey were overwhelming female with almost half being aged between 18-24.  Those surveyed were asked about their financial situation including housing, income and debts.