Figures show more Nurses leaving the Profession than Joining

Figures issued by the Nursing & Midwifery Council show that more Nurses are leaving the profession than joining for the first time in recent history.

The figures issued by the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) show that, between 2016 and 2017, 45% more UK registrants left the register than joined it for the first time. Earlier this month it was also revealed that applications from EU nurses to join the register have dropped by 96%.

A total of 29,434 Nurses left the register in 2016-17. This compares to 20,240 new registrations in the same year.


The NMC also highlighted a “notable increase” in the number of Nurses under the age of 40 leaving the profession.

According to the regulator, excluding retirement, the top reasons giving for quitting nursing and midwifery are working conditions, change in personal circumstance (such as ill health or caring responsibilities) and disillusionment with the quality of care provided.

Jane Cummings, the UK’s Chief Nursing Officer, says the figures are “concerning”.

At the Royal College of Nursing, Janet Davies, chief executive and general secretary, said: “These figures are the starkest warning yet that nurses have put up with too much for too long. Our members have had enough, and as a result the profession is shrinking.”

She said the average nurse was now £3,000 worse off in real terms compared to 2010 and urged the government to lift the public sector pay cap.

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