Over 10,000 former nurses and midwives return to fight COVID-19

More than 22,000 students have also been deployed through extended clinical placements.

Ian Snug
17 April 2020

Nurses and midwives who left the professional register in the past five years have been invited to return.

Figures out today reveal 10,823 former nurses and midwives have rejoined the profession to help fight COVID-19 on the front-line. 


This unprecedented response follows the professional regulator’s launch of its COVID-19 temporary register just three weeks ago.

Having initially reached out to nursing and midwifery professionals who had voluntarily left their professions within the last three years, more recently the NMC invited some nurses and midwives with overseas qualifications who are based in the UK, and those who left the register within the last four and five years.

The regulator has also allowed the deployment of more than 22,000 students through extended clinical placements.

Claire, a nurse who rejoined the register, said: “Staying at home in self-isolation was never really an option for me. After a career spanning more than 40 years as a registered nurse in the NHS, the bonds that bind me are tight indeed. The coming weeks in this country are going to test us all in different ways but for those working in the NHS this will be the challenge of a lifetime.”


Thank you.

Andrea Sutcliffe CBE, the NMC’s Chief Executive and Registrar, added; “Thank you to everyone who has signed up to our temporary register. To see almost 11,000 people join is truly phenomenal and I’m very grateful to everyone who has answered our call. They will make such a huge contribution to the UK response to Covid-19.

“We need nurses and midwives with all sorts of skills and experience. Some of our temporary registrants are already looking after people severely ill with coronavirus, others are covering for colleagues in different health or social care settings who are ill themselves, working as midwives in delivery suites, providing telephone advice or supporting older and disabled people in nursing homes and in the community.

“We know the pressures on the NHS and social care caused by coronavirus are not going away any time soon. So, the register is still open for temporary registrants via our website. If you think you fit the criteria and haven’t heard from us or want more information, please take a look.

“I know we are asking a lot. These are difficult times but we really need the skill, care and compassion nurses and midwives bring to help keep the nation safe. Thank you so much.


“Nurses and midwives are the beating heart of our health and care system and as the applause ringing out every Thursday night shows, we all appreciate and value them more than ever before.”

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