A STUDENT nurse from Bradford has called on the Government to honour her cohort's sacrifices by waiving this academic year's tuition fees and treating them as equals to the nurses before them.

The nurse, who wished to remain anonymous, is among more than 250 people to sign the Telegraph & Argus' petition to cancel this year's £9,250 fee for student nurses, midwives and paramedics on the NHS frontline.

Thousands of students across the country stepped up to help on our hospital wards, making up for a national shortfall in staffing numbers.

Some students were on unpaid placements when the Covid-19 pandemic first began while others have since started paid shifts as contracted band four level nurses.

And despite stepping up to staff our hospitals, those graduating this year are expected to foot the annual £9,250 bill for tuition fees and without access to the student nurse bursary.

The student nurse told the Telegraph & Argus: "We were the first cohort whereby university fees were expected to be paid. Numbers of those applying to do nursing decreased but this did not stop us.

"Our cohort is clearly in the profession because we want to be, not because they offer a free university course. We have worked on placement intermittently for three years, often acting within numbers on wards whereby staffing was low. You never heard us complain, we helped because we care.

"Now we are helping within the coronavirus outbreak. All we are asking is that you take a moment to understand how signing this petition will help towards relieving some of the stress we have endured throughout our course."

She added: "Not having debt at the end of our course like those nurses before us and those now applying should be a given, why should we be treated any different?"

Hundreds of Brits have thrown their weight behind the T&A campaign which is backed by four leading unions representing the majority of nurses, midwives and allied healthcare students.

With almost 300 signatures at the time of going to print, many residents understood why healthcare students felt used.

Peter Wilshire, who lives in Bridlington, commented: "It is the right and fairest thing to do. These special people put their lives at risk to protect us. Our turn to help them."

While Peter Bond from York said: "George Osborne took a fatal decision scrapping the nursing bursary - in my opinion - and is no longer answerable at the ballot box!

"An ageing population needs the '40,000 nurses shortfall', let alone Covid19 pandemic; scrap the final year tuition fees, reinstate the nursing bursary to the 2015 level + inflation factored in and get a grip!"

Peter Atkinson from Leeds explained his reasons for signing by saying: "The government has run the NHS into the ground for more than a decade. To expect tuition fees to be paid by students willing to join now to rebuild the Governments' wrong doing is totally out of order. It's a pay rise they need along with Government fully funded tuition for all students."

If you feel the Government should scrap this academic year's fees for healthcare students, sign the petition here.