Nursing students from India are increasingly opting for remote care to save money, with an increasing number opting to stay at home to look after their families.
The number of students seeking to study at a hospital in a remote rural location to become a remote nurse has risen from 8% in 2016 to 15% in 2017, according to data from the National Rural Health Mission.
“In 2017, we saw a significant rise in students seeking a post-graduate degree in nursing and we believe this trend will continue,” said Kailash Bhattacharya, president of the National Nurses Federation of India.
“Students are willing to pay more than Rs 50,000 for a degree at a university in rural areas and a higher cost in urban areas, but there is no guarantee that the post-graduates can get a job.”
Remote nursing students are being educated at a higher rate than those in the urban sector, and have an easier time accessing support and financial help, which is seen as the key to their success.
“A majority of the students in our program do not have access to health insurance.
For these students, we have a better and more cost-effective model,” said a senior nurse, who did not wish to be named.
“We have a much higher quality of education for the remote nurses, which we can also afford,” she said.
Remote nursing students in India are a diverse group of students, with about 1,500 participating in nursing in India in 2017.
The average age of the cohort is 28 years, and nearly half of them are women.
The students, who often live alone, receive a bachelor’s degree in the field of nursing and medical sciences, which costs about Rs 1,000 per year.
In addition to being able to access financial help to help pay for the cost of a bachelor degree, a remote degree can also help a remote student earn a decent living.
“A good post-baccalaureate degree can help you get into a good job and also be part of your community,” said Pratima Bhatia, a nursing student from Madhya Pradesh.
“You can earn a good living in the nursing sector.”
While many students are opting for post-surgical support to pay for their medical expenses, a growing number are also opting for tertiary support to help them manage their post-care costs.
“There are many students who are choosing to go to universities in rural communities for tertiaries because of these cost-saving options,” said Bhatiah.
“This will help them with their financial and social support needs,” she added.