Exclusive: Student drop-out rates put profession at further risk

Attrition data obtained by Nursing Standard shows one in four nursing students are not completing their degree courses.
Quit University

Competition is fierce for a place on an undergraduate nursing course, yet a Nursing Standard investigation reveals one in four students who do make the grade end up dropping out.

Nursing Standard asked 70 universities to supply start and completion data for three-year pre-registration nursing courses ending in 2016.

Out of 17,055 students starting courses in 2013 in the UK, 4,284 quit their studies early, revealing an average UK nursing student attrition rate of 25.1%.

Not new

The issue is not new. Nursing Standard has been investigating the problem for the past decade and little has improved. In 2006, our survey found the drop-out rate to be 24.8%; in 2008 it was 26.3%; and in 2010 it was 28%.

The issue of attrition is made all the more pertinent, now that government has removed bursaries for nursing students in England and