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Nursing course applications fall for second year after student bursary scrapped

Reported by the Independent (5 February 2018): Student loan write-offs and other incentives urgently needed to prevent 'unimaginable problems' caused by the removal of nursing bursary, leaders warn.

Applications to study nursing in England have fallen for a second year, dropping by a third since the Government removed bursaries in 2017 requiring nurses and midwives to pay £9,000 a year in fees. Ucas figures for the first wave of applicants hoping to start university courses in September 2018 show that the number of students wanting to study NHS nursing have again fallen sharply, by 13 per cent on last year.

This is despite the Government dropping the bursary so that more nurses could be trained, as places were previously capped by what the NHS could afford. Nursing bosses said this ambition has failed and some form of incentive, such as student loan write-offs for nurses who are trained and work in the NHS, is urgently needed to avert “unimaginable problems” in the future.

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