Speaking on International Nurses Day, Sir Simon Stevens (NHS chief executive) thanked nurses for all they have done during the greatest global health emergency in NHS history and also called on universities to increase the number of places and give people interested in a career in nursing more opportunities to sign up.
Amazingly, since the start of lockdown, the NHS Health Careers website has seen a 220% rise in people expressing an interest in becoming a nurse!
Nursing roles, including the NHS as well as the private sector, have been in desperate need for an increase in applicants for many years now.
The NHS England has made 8,000 more clinical placements available for nurses, up around a third to 30,000, funded by an additional £10million, meaning there are expected to be up to 4,000 more placements available than degree courses this autumn.
At the moment universities only let people sign up once or twice a year, in January and September. A Spring recruitment drive could be brought in boost numbers if the current demand for places on a nursing degree continue to grow.
Chief nursing officer Ruth May said: “Nursing can be challenging but it is also the most rewarding career you can have looking after patients and their families at the happiest times in their life, such as the birth of a child, and at the some of the most difficult.’’
Throughout all of these unprecedented times, it’s been amazing for us to see and hear some great stories of nurses who have been on the frontline!