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Extra year of Nursing Training will cost eight

Extra year of Nursing Training will cost eight more years of student debt.

The recent proposals to extend Nursing Degrees to four years would be disastrous for female graduates and could leave them paying off their student loans for eight more years the Aotearoa Post-compulsory Student Union (APSU) revealed today.

The Nursing Council recently commissioned management consultants KPMG to explore if nursing degrees should be extended from three years to four.

Using data from the Ministry of Education and Statistics New Zealand APSU has calculated that a fourth year of nursing training could increase the total debt a nurse graduates with from $19,485 to $25,980

"Census figures show that female bachelors graduates earn considerably less than their male counterparts," said David Penney, APSU National President.

"So in practice this means that an average female graduate with three years training will take 28 years to pay off their student loan, however, if the Nursing Council adds an extra year of borrowing, that graduate will take 36 years to pay off the loan," said David Penney

"The Nursing Council and KPMG should take into account that the nursing profession is dominated by females and that user-pays policies, like student loans, are considerably harsher on females than males," said Nursing Student and Massey Wellington Student Association Vice President Michelle McLaren.

"81% of students in medical and health studies are female, so the prospect of an extra eight years worth of debt will do nothing to solve New Zealand's pressing nursing shortage," said Michelle McLaren.

"APSU urges KPMG and the Nursing Council to consider the impact of an extra years training on students and look first at alternative ways of addressing quality issues," concluded David Penney.


For more comment contact:

David Penney

National President

APSU 04 498 2501

025 756 526

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