“I’m dreading trying to live on a nurse’s salary”

by a Student Nurse

As a student nurse in London, I’m living in an expensive city on a paltry student loan during my three years of training.

Necessities like food and even haircuts are all extortionately priced. These are combined with the cost of travelling to and from my work placement – which is facing a rise.

Nurses marching for the NHS
Nurses marching for the NHS
Photo: Paul Mattsson

All this has forced me take on extra work during my studies to help bridge the funding gap with my loan, which I’ll have to pay back when I’m earning.

I’m dreading trying to live in London on a nursing salary once I qualify at the end of this year. Rents are at an all-time high, and indeed continue to rise across the whole country, while nursing wages have fallen way short of price rises.

Only option

My only housing option available is ‘staff accommodation’, which offers minimal privacy and is only temporary. Even if I get this, I will have to try and save enough to help cover the high rents once I must leave.

The rising costs of necessities, whether living in the capital or elsewhere, means that more and more people are living from pay cheque to pay cheque.

It’s frightening to see this exploitation of working people deepen with the removal of the energy price cap and the rise in national insurance. Meanwhile, the super-rich have profited during the years of the Covid pandemic.

Nurses, like many other workers, have been left behind and exploited over and over again by this Tory government of the rich.

It’s high time that workers stand up and fight.