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Government target of 50,000 new nurses needed as shortfall of nurses will impact adult social care

Student nurse applications fall by 16pc, RCN finds

The overall number of applicants to nursing courses in the UK has dropped by 16 per cent compared to last year, according to UCAS data. The data reports on the number of provisional applicants to nursing courses in the UK and for each of the home nations for the 2023 application cycle. 

  • Figures for England show there were 31,430 applicants. A fall of 16% from 2022. 
  • Figures for Scotland show there were 4,860 applicants. A fall of 16% from 2022. 
  • Figures for Wales show there were 1,650 applicants. A fall of 27% from 2022. 
  • Figures for Northern Ireland show there were 1,960 applicants. A fall of 20% from 2022. 

In England, the recently published NHS Long Term Workforce Plan outlines an ambition to significantly increase the number of people undertaking nursing degrees.

In England, the recently published NHS Long Term Workforce Plan outlines an ambition to significantly increase the number of people undertaking nursing degrees. RCN General Secretary & Chief Executive Pat Cullen said: “Today’s news shows the task ahead will be even harder than expected.”  

Contributory factors include below inflation pay rises and adequate financial support for students, claims the RCN.  

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