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Why do Nurses use Payday Loans
Nurses are one of the most highly-regarded professions in the UK. Yet, it doesn’t seem that way from their liveable salaries. They have always been underpaid. Is the government expecting student nurses to work for nothing on their nursing placements? And to add insult to injury, expect them to pay for the ‘privilege’? Are the existing bursaries and salaries sufficient, and why are so many nurses taking out instant direct lender payday loans?
This Cashfloat Team aims to examine the nursing profession: its history, training, salaries, and grievances. This detailed evaluation will then be able to answer the questions posed above about why so many nurses resort to payday loans.
The History of Nursing
Florence Nightingale is well-known as the founder of modern nursing. She attended the first nursing college in Germany and later established the first nursing school at Saint Thomas’ hospital in 1860. She went to nurse soldiers during the Crimean War. It has been estimated that her improvements to hygiene led to a fall in mortality rates by two thirds.
The Royal College of Nursing was established in 1915. Further improvements in training methods and the start of the National Health Service meant that teaching practices were standardised to make nursing the profession we know today. In 2002, the regulatory body, the Nursing and Midwifery Council, took over from the UKCC (the United Kingdom Central Council for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visitors).
Becoming a Nurse
To get a degree in nursing, a student usually needs 5 GCSEs plus at least two A levels. During the three-year course, trainee nurses have to choose between four specialisms: adults, children, learning disabilities or mental health. About half the course is spent on supervised placements in local hospitals or community settings. As of yet, trainee nurses do not pay university fees. They also get and a £1,000 non-means-tested grant from the NHS. Further bursaries from £1,000 to £4,491 are means-tested depending on where student nurses live. They receive all grants and bursaries on a monthly basis.
According to the NHS, a nurse’s annual salary depends on the specific nursing position, the skills required, their experience and the job location. Pay scales for the profession start from £18,546 for Band 1/2 and go up to £108,075 for the relatively few positions in Band 9. The average for a Registered Nurse, whether they possess a degree or diploma in nursing, is £26,380 outside London and £31,787. within the capital. This average includes any overtime since the basic salary is just over £21,000
Nursing Unions and Grievances
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has a membership of 465,000 registered nurses. Many in the profession choose to join UNISON, which is the union for workers in the NHS and local government. Of its 1.3 million members, about 680,000 are from the NHS. Although, this includes all workers and not necessarily all are nurses. Both organisations agree that pay rises for nurses over the last five years have lagged behind inflation, while UNISON specifically points out that pay awards are 14% behind. In April 2016, the government awarded nurses a 1% pay rise. They claim the increasing N.I contributions would swallow this up. This has improved with the New Pay Deal that was implemented where salaries across the board increased over a 3 year period. In July 2021, a 3% pay rise was announced for NHS Nurses – which has been back-dated to April 2021. They point out that this will help to reduce the amount of professional members that need to take on extra shifts to cover up the shortfall in their salaries or take out emergency loans for nurses to make ends meet.
Student Nurses Debt
The RCN and UNISON have appealed to the Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock with three demands on the government to show recognition of the significant contribution made by nursing, midwifery and allied health care students during COVID-19.
- To reimburse tuition fees or forgive all current nurses debts
- To abolish student-funded tuition fees for all nursing, midwifery, and allied health care students starting in 2020/21 in recognition that they will be supporting vital public services.
- Introduce universal living maintenance grants that reflect actual student need.
Student nurses struggle to retain a part-time job or work excessive hours to make ends meet. So Many have bills to pay and even families to support. Some student nurses graduate with tens of thousands of pounds of debt because of the tuition fees they have to pay. It’s high time the government gets behind student nurses by providing full tuition fee support and maintenance grants which cover the actual cost of living for all nursing students in England.
Payday Loans for Nurses
Payday loans for nurses in the UK are much more common than just a few years ago. The question is: Why are payday loans for nurses more common? The fact that the average age of student nurses is 29 indicates how nursing is a profession that people often enter at a later age. However, at this age, people often have other commitments such as purchasing a house and mortgage payments. Thus they may turn to short term loan direct lenders, wage advances or different kinds of credit.
Other outgoings they might have are expenses for groceries, bills, and the cost of bringing up children and, if necessary, paying for childcare facilities. Commuting, whether by car or by public transport, is another significant monthly drain on their available income. In their initial years as a nurse, some people who have entered the nursing profession late might have to take a pay cut before moving up the pay scale with seniority. This will mean other financial commitments they had from before their training will be an additional burden.