The number of nurses and midwives registered to work in the UK increased by nearly 4000 in the past year, according to figures from the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).
In September 2018, there were 693,618 nurses and midwives registered to work in the UK. The NMC says that the increase has been driven by a rise in UK trained nurses and midwives and those trained outside the EU. The number of people trained in the UK and registered to work has increased by 3457 over the last twelve months, and numbers from outside the EU have increased by 2808.
‘These figures paint an improving picture. We’re seeing increasing numbers of home grown nurses and midwives, while it’s clear that improvements to the way we register people from outside the EU are making a real difference to the numbers ready and able to deliver the very best care to people across the UK’ said Sue Killen, Interim Chief Executive and Registrar of the NMC. ‘However, it’s not all good news as there is a continuing decline in nurses and midwives applying to join the register from the EU.’
The figures also show that the number of people on the register from the EU continues to decline with 2385 fewer nurses and midwives registered to work. Despite this decline, the overall number of EU nurses and midwives remains well above pre-2015 levels. The number of midwives registered to work in the UK also continued to rise, with the last five years seeing a year on year increase.
‘Despite the overall increase in numbers it remains difficult to predict what will happen in the coming years. That’s because it’s unlikely that we’ve see the full impact of the decision in 2017 to remove the bursary for students,’ add Ms Killen. ‘It also remains essential that there is proper investment in the continuing professional development of nurses and midwives if we are to keep hold of the health and care sector’s most vital asset.’
‘We’ll continue to play our part in supporting nurses, midwives and in the future nursing associates to register to work in the UK as well as promoting and enabling professionalism throughout their careers.’