Rising demand for places on nursing degree courses

Opportunity for career progression may be a contributing factor 

The number of people being accepted to study nursing degrees has increased for the fourth year in a row.

According to University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) figures, 27,535 people enrolled on nursing courses at UK universities in September 2015.

Of these, 2,625 were male – a figure that also has increased for the fourth year running. 

The age of successful candidates shows signs of a continuing upward trend in the mature category, with 16,800 aged 21 and over compared with only 25 in the 17 and under bracket.

Of the ages in between there were significantly more 18 year olds being accepted (5,350) compared with 20 year olds (2,075).

One of the most popular universities to study nursing at is Nottingham. A spokesperson at the university explained why the profession remains so popular: ‘One of the myths of nursing is that it lacks challenges or career progression. The reality is very different.

‘Nurses have extensive knowledge and provide sophisticated levels of care in a wide range of settings including hospitals, surgeries, prisons, schools and even highly technical specialist units.

‘Working on a ward opens up a diverse range of settings, for example cardiac centres, specialist haematology and bone marrow transplant units, ophthalmic specialist units and regional trauma units.

‘Alternatively, community nurses can offer care in patients’ own homes.

‘A newly qualified nurse working in the NHS can expect to be employed at band 5, but with career progression and development there is the prospect of applying for senior clinical posts – for example, band 6 ward manager or band 6 district nurse (salary range £25,472-£34,189) and band 7 specialist nurse (salary range £30,460-£40,157).’

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