Thousands more join nursing courses following appeal by health chief

Thousands more nursing students have been placed onto courses in England this year following an appeal for more people to join the profession.

Ucas figures published on Thursday show there are 4,360 more nursing students accepted onto courses in England this year compared to 2019 – a 22% increase.

The increase follows an appeal by England’s chief nursing officer Ruth May for more people of all ages to begin a career in nursing.

In total 24,330 students have been placed, compared to 19,970 last year, and the increase in England has outpaced other parts of the UK.

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With places still available through clearing, the NHS estimates that more than 5,000 more people could be accepted onto courses this year than last.

Ms May said: “The news that there has been a 22% increase in applications for nursing degrees is a testament to the inspiring work of NHS staff throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and ensures that our workforce will continue to go from strength to strength.

“The NHS will always need compassionate, talented and expert individuals, whether you are straight out of school or looking to find a more rewarding career later on in life.

“Places are filling up fast but courses are still available across the country through clearing, so I would urge people to consider joining the thousands of people who have already applied for nursing or midwifery degrees.”

It was also announced this week that there has been a 50% increase in funding for clinical placements across the country, with £8.2 million to create an additional 7,000 placements for student nurses and midwives, while £5.8 million will be earmarked for allied health professionals in training.

From September, all nursing, midwifery and allied health professional students will receive a £5,000 government bursary, with an extra £3,000 available for individuals with additional caring needs.