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Chance for Govt to Nurse Education back to Health

Chance for Govt to Nurse Education back to Health

Figures released recently by the NZ Nurses’ Organisation and NZ University Students’ Association show that nurses are very negatively affected by student debt. Over the following month the government is considering submissions on their proposed ‘fees maxima’ scheme and will have the opportunity to alleviate nurses’ growing debt crisis.

“Despite this year’s budget failing to invest enough money in tertiary education, the government has the opportunity to improve the diabolical situation many nurses are in when they finalise ‘fee maxima’ at the end of July.” said Michelle President of OPSA.

A brief summary of the results shows: Around 80% found student debt made it more difficult to save a deposit for a house or retirement savings; Around 70% found student debt affected whether then went on to do higher studies; For around a third, student debt influenced their decision to have children; Over 60% had considered leaving the country because of student debt.

“It is an appalling situation when some of the most important health workers suffer because they choose nursing, the government must immediately respond with a low ‘maxima’” said Ms Watt.

“Nurses low pay worsens the effect of student debt and this highlights one of several significant unfairness aspects in the student debt scheme – people who graduate onto lower paying jobs will end paying much more for exactly the same education as those who graduate into high paying jobs” said Ms Watt.

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