Responding to the latest figures on undergraduate nursing applications published by UCAS today (Monday), UNISON head of health Sara Gorton said:
“It’s disappointing that the number of student nursing applications is down 18%. Unfortunately the government’s decision to scrap the bursary has clearly deterred people from pursuing a career in nursing.
“The drop in older applicants is particularly worrying. It suggests that the fear of heavy debts is putting off people who might be switching careers or have family to support. It’s really important that NHS staff reflect the communities they serve, and no one is priced out of becoming a nurse.
“And although there has been a rise in the overall number of students accepted onto nursing courses, this is well short of the government’s target of 10,000 new nurses.”