Emily Dixon & Jolanta Edwards: London needs more nursing and healthcare students

Emily Dixon & Jolanta Edwards: London needs more nursing and healthcare students

London needs more nurses and healthcare professionals to meet current and future demand. In fact, the city’s nursing shortages are more acute than those of any other English region. The NHS workforce plan‘s healthcare and nursing recruitment targets for London show that higher education institutions in the capital have a lot to consider. How do they best promote their courses to prospective students? Why is London the place to study these courses?

London Higher, which represents the capital’s higher education sector, has launched the second phase of its campaign to encourage take-up of healthcare degree courses, recognising that London can be an expensive place in which to study.

The 2023 NatWest Student Living index found that it had the highest monthly living costs for students of any UK student city. This can, of course, prompt hesitation among prospective London students. For this reason the campaign is highlighting that there may be additional financial support available.

NHS bursaries offer grants for every year of full time nursing study, which can contribute to tuition fees, for example. Further, means-tested, financial help may also be available on top of support for students based on their individual circumstances, with things such as travel, accommodation while on placements and childcare.

London has a variety of specialist hospitals, care centres and research institutes, providing plenty of opportunities and facilities no matter which of the 14 allied health subjects or nursing courses are chosen. It also offers a variety of placement opportunities and a unique, varied and international environment in which to study and deliver health services.

The country’s largest city is also home to its most diverse population. Local communities in all parts of the capital create the possibility of working with very different demographic groups and tackling different challenges.

For example, student nurses may end up based in a specialist hospital for tropical disease diagnosis or in community care for a tuberculosis hotspot. The range of training and work opportunities in London is unrivalled. Studying nursing and health in the capital opens the door to a wide world of practice and research.

The aim of the London Higher campaign – called #StudyNursingLondon, along with #StudyRadiographyLondon – is to get potential students to appreciate the importance of nursing and healthcare careers, and to consider London as the place to study for them.

Nursing and healthcare training remain overwhelmingly populated by female and mature students. Through the campaign, we aim to widen its appeal so that it interests other groups as well. We also hope to hear from current students who can share insights into what they have found rewarding about their courses and why they have chosen to come to London.

By working together, London can make progress towards solving its nursing and healthcare shortages to the benefit of all its communities.

Both authors work for London Higher. Emily Dixon is its senior research and content officer. Jolanta Edwards, director of strategy. Follow London Higher on X/Twitter

Support OnLondon.co.uk and its writers for just £5 a month or £50 a year and get things for your money too. Details HERE. Threads: DaveHillOnLondon. X/Twitter: On London and Dave Hill. Image from London Higher campaign video.

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