At one point I decided to look at re-entering nursing, my chosen career for 17 years, after a break of more than 3 years you need to undertake a return to practice course to re-register.  Something I agree with, as change happens rapidly in the field of nursing & medicine.  However, when I looked into it I discovered that unlike the old days when it was free to go on & students were paid when they worked, that is far from true now.

Not only do you have to pay £640 (when you enrol) to take the course, you also need to do a minimum 75 hours of practice, all unpaid.  I approached the job centre to ask them about how I could fund this.  Surprise, surprise there is no government funding available, you cannot claim income support during this time as you are not eligible, neither can you claim job seekers as you are not actively seeking employment.

The course runs from 0930 – 3.30 at our local university, in another town, another problem, it doesn’t fit with school hours, so how are you supposed to pick up your children, from another town, pay bus fares (2 buses each way) pay the child care costs & your bills & survive?  Guess what, unless you have somebody to support you & pay your bills yet another door is closed to single parents!  I for one cannot survive without earning any money or a further reduction in my income for the 12 weeks it would take me to qualify & I am sure I am not alone.