The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) will review their registration costs amid concerns over the declining size of the register.
The current fee provides the NMC with 97% of its £85 million income and they describe their current financial position as ‘healthy’ and have not increased the fee.
However, the fee already increased in 2015 from £100 to £120 per year.
The declining number of registered nurses will make a significant impact on the NMC’s budget, and in council papers they admitted to planned ‘further reduction of £1.4m’.
‘During 2018-19, we will be reviewing the fee level in more detail, as well as improving the modelling of income for future years. This reflects growing concern about the long-term trend of the size of the register,’ said the council papers.
‘Our budget for 2018–2019 assumes a continuation of the fee at £120 with a further potential decline in income.’
The number of nursing leaving the profession is high – in January, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) described the NHS as ‘haemorrhaging’ nurses as more than 33,000 had left in 2017 – which is 20% of the workforce.
Speaking to the BBC in January, Janet Davies, chief executive of the RCN, said: ‘The government must lift the NHS out of this dangerous and downward spiral.
‘We are haemorrhaging nurses at precisely the time when demand has never been higher. The next generation of British nurses aren’t coming through just as the most experienced nurses are becoming demoralised and leaving.’
The recent announcement of a 6.5% pay rise has not been enough to increase the number of nursing to students to apply – as UCAS reported a 10% decrease in applicants.
With the size of the register declining, the NMC’s registration fee may be subject to changes.