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Nurse numbers in England up by more than 14,000, according to NHS data

University admissions figures also show record numbers accepting a place to study nursing
Newly qualified nurses joining the NHS workforce in England

University admissions figures also show record numbers accepting a place to study nursing

Nurse numbers in the NHS in England increased by 14,199 in the year to June,according to NHS workforce data .

Data from the Universities and Colleges Admissions Services (UCAS) also show record numbers of people accepting a place to study nursing in England, with a 23% increase compared with June 2019, or 5,000 more nursing students.

40,000 nurse vacancies in England, despite increase in numbers this year

RCN director for England Mike Adams said: It is wonderful to see so many new students interested in our profession and testament to the visibility, commitment and leadership of all of our nursing staff through this pandemic.

But Mr Adams highlighted that the welcome increase in nurse and nursing student numbers had to be

University admissions figures also show record numbers accepting a place to study nursing

Four nursing students in a hospital during placement. UCAS data also show record numbers of people accepting a place to study nursing in England
Picture: iStock

Nurse numbers in the NHS in England increased by 14,199 in the year to June, according to NHS workforce data

Data from the Universities and Colleges Admissions Services (UCAS) also show record numbers of people accepting a place to study nursing in England, with a 23% increase compared with June 2019, or 5,000 more nursing students.  

40,000 nurse vacancies in England, despite increase in numbers this year

RCN director for England Mike Adams said: ‘It is wonderful to see so many new students interested in our profession and testament to the visibility, commitment and leadership of all of our nursing staff through this pandemic.’

But Mr Adams highlighted that the welcome increase in nurse and nursing student numbers had to be placed in the context of the estimated 40,000 nursing vacancies in the NHS in England alone.

‘We demand more government action to retain the existing workforce,’ he added.

Significant and early pay rise needed to retain exisiting nursing workforce

Mr Adams said a recent survey of 42,000 RCN members showed that 35% are thinking of leaving the profession this year, with more than half citing pay as a factor.

Mike Adams, RCN director for England
Mike Adams, RCN director for England

‘Unless there is improved pay, we risk many of our members leaving the profession – putting the public at greater risk, when the nation needs them more than ever. That is why we continue to call for a significant and early pay rise.’

Commenting on the workforce statistics, health and social care secretary Matt Hancock said it was ‘fantastic to see over 14,100 more nurses helping to put the NHS in the best possible position to tackle the pandemic’.

‘Well on our way to delivering 50,000 more nurses,’ says health secretary

Mr Hancock added: ‘With the latest UCAS figures showing a record 23% rise in people accepting places on nursing courses in England, we are also well on our way to delivering 50,000 more nurses by the end of this parliament.’

In July, the NHS People Plan set out goals for nurse numbers, flexible working and staff well-being, as part of a five-year strategy to address recruitment and retention.


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