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18 Dec 2019

Nurse numbers high but ageing

Industry News

The latest figures from the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) register show that the number of nurses, midwives and nursing associates rose by nearly 2% in the last year to an all-time high.

The number of specialist nurses, such learning disability and mental health nurses, has remained stable over the last year, although demand for these nurses continues to rise.

However, looking at the register by age group reveals that while the number of professionals under 30 grew by 3%, the number in the 61-65 age bracket rose by 11%, suggesting that the overall nursing and midwifery workforce is ageing.

Andrea Sutcliff CBE, chief executive and registrar at the NMC, said:

We know the incredible impact that nurses, midwives and nursing associates have in providing highly skilled and person-centred care for millions of people living across all four countries of the UK. I’m pleased to see such an increase of people on our register.

‘But the reality is, even with this considerable mid-year growth, there are still serious shortages across the health and care sector – not least in specialist areas such as mental health and learning disabilities.

‘With so many on our register nearing retirement age, it’s more important than ever that partners across the system work together to tackle the important issue of recruitment and retention of the essential nursing and midwifery workforce.’

The upcoming retirement of many nursing professionals, combined with the 25% drop in applications to study nursing since 2016, may lead to serious problems in maintaining adequate workforce levels.

If your organisation is concerned about maintaining sufficient levels of healthcare professionals, MSI can help. Get in touch on info@msigroupltd.com or 0330 403 0022.