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Scholarships Will Have Little Impact For Students

Government “Step Up” Scholarships Will Have Little Impact For Nursing Students

A Government announcement that “Step Up” scholarship for low income students is to be extended will have little impact for those considering nursing as a career, said Geoff Annals CEO of the New Zealand Nurses Organisation today.

The age of eligibility for the scholarships has been increased to 24.

“Obviously any increase to eligibility is welcomed, but the average age of nursing students is 33 and NZNO has strongly advocated for this to be considered in extending the scheme,” said Geoff Annals .

Geoff Annals said number of nursing students was down this year, and it was not surprising considering the cost of nursing study, the burden of student debt and the low pay after graduation.

He said the average cost of a nursing degree was $12000 and the average nursing student debt was around $20,000.

"Any measure addressing the burden of student debt for nursing and midwifery students is a step towards addressing the causes of our nursing shortage," he said.

"But much more needs to be done to attract young people to nursing, where the average age is currently 42," he said.

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