There has been a “significant rise” in internationally trained nurses joining the register.
International nurses now make up around half of all new registered nurses, midwives and nursing associates joining the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) register.
According to official data published today, there has been a “significant rise” in internationally trained nurses joining the register.
The data reveals that between April 2021 and March 2022, a total of 23,408 internationally trained nurses joined the NMC register compared with 25,028 UK trained nurses.
A massive 66% of international nurses trained in India or the Philippines, while just 2% of new nurses are from the European Union.
The data also reveals that while the overall number of registrants has risen, there has been a sharp increase in those leaving the profession.
Vacancies remain stubbornly high.
A recent analysis by the King’s Fund revealed that while there has been a rise in the number of nurses, it has had little impact on vacancy rates.
Responding to the figures, James Buchan, Senior Visiting Fellow at the Health Foundation, said: Nurses trained outside the UK have long played a vital role in delivering NHS services.
“Today’s data from the NMC again shows that the NHS is turning to non-UK workers to plug large gaps in the nursing workforce.
Mr Buchan continued, “With nursing vacancies across the NHS remaining stubbornly high and staff under extreme pressure, the drive to recruit new nurses is positive. But international recruitment is very much a short-term quick fix solution that may come at the expense of long-term workforce planning and domestic supply and risks nurses not being recruited in the right places with the right skills.
The Health Foundation also warned that recruiting nurses from countries with their own shortages needs “significant consideration”.