Nursing students at Memorial University have started a petition for fair compensation for clinical placements and the removal of fees.
They state that Nursing students who complete a Bachelor of Science in Nursing at MUN undertake no less than 1600 hours of unpaid clinical placements.
Furthermore, they state that the rising tuition costs at MUN have placed an additional financial burden on students, forcing many to obtain outside employment to cover university fees and living expenses and some to support dependents.
They state inadequate funding for preceptorship and independent placements “fails to recognize the significant time and effort invested by nursing students during these critical experiences.”
They state that nursing students engaged in clinical placements and full-time studies find it challenging to maintain part-time employment, which impedes their ability to cover educational and living expenses.
The clinical placements nursing students complete span 96 hours during the first year, 240 hours during the second year, 552 hours during the third year, and 720 hours during the fourth year.
They state that “financial constraints faced by nursing students hinder their ability to focus on their education and discourage prospective students from pursuing nursing programs in a time of a severe healthcare crisis.”
The students at the Centre for Nursing Studies and the Faculty of Nursing are asking the administration at MUN and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador for fair compensation for clinical placements that exceed 48 hours per semester that aligns with the compensation provided to minimum living wage.
They are also asking for the removal of fees associated with clinical placements. “It is unjust for nursing students to bear the financial burden of these fees, and their removal will alleviate the financial strain faced by students and ensure equitable treatment compared to students in other programs,” they state.
Matt Barter is a fourth-year student in the Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty at Memorial University of Newfoundland, majoring in Political Science with a minor in Sociology. He enjoys reading thought-provoking articles, walks in nature, and volunteering in the community.