This petition was submitted during the 2015–2017 Conservative government

Petition Keep the NHS Bursary

At the moment, student nurses do not pay tuition fees, and receive a means tested bursary during their training. We are required, by the NMC, to have done at least 4,600 hours whilst studying, at least half of which are in practice.

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Student nurses often work alongside our studies, like most students. But unlike most students, we work full time hours in placement for around half the year, and spend the rest of the time in lectures, without a summer holiday, or an Easter break, as well as completing our assignments. Taking away the NHS Bursary will force more student nurses into working 70 hour weeks, as many already do, it will compromise our studies and most of all, our patient care.

This petition is closed This petition ran for 6 months

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Parliament debated this topic

This topic was debated on 11 January 2016

Government responded

This response was given on 17 December 2015

From 1 August 2017, new nursing, midwifery and allied health students will access student loans providing more money to them while studying. Universities will also provide more training places.

To deliver more nurses, midwives and allied health professionals for the NHS, a better funding system for health students, and a sustainable model for universities, we need to move new nursing, midwifery and allied health students from grants and bursaries onto the standard student loans system. This will be done for new students from 1 August 2017 and will bring them into line with the arrangements for students undertaking other university degrees. Existing students will continue on the current system of bursaries.

As a result, we expect this to enable up to 10,000 additional nursing, midwifery and allied health training places over this parliament. Rather than denying thousands of UK applicants a place to study nursing, midwifery and the allied health subjects at university, we will be boosting participation and securing the future supply of these professions to the NHS. This will mean more applicants will get the chance to become a health professional.

Under the loans system, students on nursing, midwifery and allied health courses will receive around a 25% increase in the financial support available to them for living costs. The precise change for individuals will be dependent on their circumstances – for example, where they study, the length of the course, income and residency.

We will run a consultation in early 2016 which will consider how to ensure the reforms are successfully delivered. We intend that students studying nursing, midwifery and the allied health subjects as a second degree will also be able to get student loans. We will also consider how we can support aspirant students from all backgrounds to ensure they can continue to pursue health careers.

Alongside we have also announced plans to create a new nursing support role, to work alongside healthcare support workers and fully qualified nurses, focusing on patient care – provisionally to be called Nursing Associates.

The new addition to the care workforce will help bridge the gap between healthcare support workers, who have a care certificate, and registered nurses. Proposals will see staff trained through this route learning on the job via an apprenticeship leading to a foundation degree. The Government will also look at what opportunities there are for staff in this role to progress to become a registered nurse through either a degree level nurse apprenticeship or a shortened nursing degree at university.

The new nursing support role is expected to work alongside healthcare support workers and fully qualified nurses to deliver hands on care, focusing on ensuring patients continue to get the compassionate care they deserve. Nursing Associates will support nurses to spend more time using their specialist training to focus on clinical duties and take more of a lead in decisions about patient care.

There will be a consultation on all the specifics of the scope of this role, including the title, with representatives from the nursing profession including the royal colleges and representative unions in the New Year.

Department of Health

Petitions Committee invites petitioners to a discussion forum on the NHS bursary

The Petitions Select Committee and Parliament’s Outreach Service warmly invite you to a discussion forum on Monday 11 January 2015 at 3pm at the Houses of Parliament.

The event will give you a chance to learn more about what Parliament can do with e-petitions and to share your views about the petition that is being debated. The Chair of the Petitions Committee, Helen Jones MP, will be on hand to explain the Committee’s work and answer your questions about the e-petition debate, as well as hear your views on the subject.

After the discussion forum (at 4.30 pm ), the House of Commons will debate the e-petition about the NHS bursary. The debate will take place in Westminster Hall at the Houses of Parliament and you are welcome to stay to watch the debate. You can even live tweet the debate if you’d like to!

You’ll need to register if you want to attend – details below:

Date: Monday 11 January 2016
Time: 3.00 pm until 4.00 pm
Venue: Jubilee Room, Palace of Westminster

How to register:
Please use the registration link below to register via Eventbrite:

The event is free to attend, although tickets will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. A waiting list will operate if the event is fully subscribed.

About the Petitions Committee:

The Petitions Committee was set up by the House of Commons to look at e-petitions submitted on and public (paper) petitions presented to the House of Commons.

You can find out more about the role of the Committee here:

You can follow the Petitions Committee on Twitter: @HoCpetitions

How to get involved with the debate

We’re really sorry about the problems that some people have had today trying to sign up for the pre-debate event. We’re looking into what went wrong so that it doesn’t happen again. We’re grateful for your patience and for your enthusiasm to take part.

If you didn’t get a place at the event, there are still ways for you to get involved.

In partnership with @WeNurses and London South Bank University there will be a digital debate on the NHS Bursary on Twitter on 6 January from 6-8pm. This will be a chance to share your thoughts, feelings and experiences on this subject. This chat will feed into the Westminster Hall debate on 11 January.

Get involved on #WeNurses.

The debate itself will be broadcast live and subsequently available on

If you want to contact your local MP before the debate to encourage them to take part and raise the issues that concern you, you can find out who they are and how to contact them here:

House of Commons to debate NHS bursaries

Today (4 May), MPs will debate NHS bursaries.

The subject for this debate was chosen by the Official Opposition (Labour). There are 20 days allocated each year for non-government (opposition) parties to choose the subjects of debate in the House of Commons.

The motion being debated reads:

"That this House recognises the contribution of student nurses, midwives, allied health professionals and other healthcare staff; has serious concerns about the potential impact of removing NHS bursaries on the recruitment and retention of staff; and calls on the Government to drop its plans to remove NHS bursaries and instead to consult on how it can best fund and support the future healthcare workforce."

The Petitions Committee agreed to request that this petition be “tagged” as relevant to the debate. This means that it was listed on the order paper (the agenda of the House of Commons) as being relevant to the debate.  

You can watch the debate from approximately 1pm on Parliament TV:

We will tweet from @HoCpetitions with a link to the debate when it is about to commence.

You can also follow the House of Commons on Twitter: @HouseofCommons

There are other ways you can get involved in the work of the UK Parliament.

Find out how to contact your MP or a Lord, contribute to a Parliamentary Committee, and search for free Parliament events taking place in your local area here:

Find out how you can visit Parliament:

You can find out more about the work of the Petitions Committee on its website here:

You can follow the Petitions Committee on Twitter: @HoCpetitions