A campaign to provide nursing students with financial support while they carry out compulsory practical placements in hospitals is winning public support. An online petition calling on the NSW Government to help the student cover costs has secured more than 25,000 signatures.

Nursing students are required to complete up to 30 weeks of placement in NSW hospitals. The students claim the 40-hour weeks limit their chances to find part-time paid work, and they want the government to step in to help.

UOW nursing student Hayley Chandler competed her placement at Liverpool Hospital, and considered deferring her studies so she could save enough money to survive.

She said nursing students should be supported in a way similar to that of apprentices.

“We are working 40+ weeks, we are up for expenses such as parking, uniforms, accommodation, petrol,” Ms Chandler said.

“These expenses only add to the burden of the already impending bills of rent, water, electricity, phone, insurances, groceries, text books, travel, and other various necessities.”

Ms Chandler, who started the petition, has also emailed Premier Mike Baird about the issue, but, as yet, has not received a reply.

“My petition is not demanding a wage. It is asking for financial support. In any other job you are paid to be trained and what makes a student any different?” Ms Chandler said.