'We're all struggling' says campaigner who started a petition to pay student nurses a minimum wage
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Nursing students currently have to do seven placements totalling 2,300 hours of unpaid work. This is equivalent to 60 unpaid weeks, over the 3-year course. The petition claims that since scrapping of NHS bursaries, nursing students have been forced to take up part-time work on top of a 37.5-hour-a-week placement just to make ends meet. The petition is addressed to the Prime Minister, the Minister of State for Universities, and Matt Hancock MP, the new Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. Speaking exclusively with TNS, John Worth told us that so far ‘I haven’t had much of a response yet from the people’ who can make the demands of his petition a reality, but that he’s optimistic about the success of the petition, as ‘with the support growing, the chance of the petition succeeding is growing too!’ Worth said he started the petition partly because of his experience on his own placement. "I’m not afraid of hard work but working 37.5 hours a week on placement unpaid means I’m having to work as much as I can the rest of the week to get money for bills, food and travel – this can be anything between 20-40 hours’ extra work on top of the 37.5-hour placement.” “This isn’t just myself struggling either, myself and my fellow student nurses were having a conversation on Facebook messenger about how we were all struggling, which is why I then said I would start the petition.” Worth says he is “very proud” and “shocked” at the overwhelming popularity of the petition this far – “It’s swept me off my feet."
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