There are currently 38,952 unfilled nursing vacancies across the NHS in England alone.
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has warned that tens of thousands of nursing vacancies is causing care to be left undone.
For World Patient Safety Day last week, the union issued the stark warning that too few nursing staff means teams are under pressure, under-resourced and care is being left undone.
The most recent official NHS data shows that the number of registered nursing vacancies in England had risen by more than 3,000 to 38,952.
They also showed that the NHS waiting list for routine treatment rose to a record 5.6 million in July.
The figures cast serious doubt on a Conservative Party pledge to recruit 50,000 new nurses in England by 2025.
Recognise their clinical expertise and knowledge.
RCN Chair of Council Carol Popplestone said: “nursing staff deserve to be able to go to work with enough staff on shift to care properly and safely for their patients.
“That is what patients and their families deserve too. We will continue to campaign for safe nurse staffing and fair pay on behalf of our members until the UK Government recognise their clinical expertise and knowledge and make the right political choice by properly investing in the nursing workforce.”
Dr Denise Chaffer, RCN President, adds; “Our members continue to provide the best care they can for patients across the health and care system, under continuing difficult conditions.
“I’d like to extend my thanks to all nursing staff in the UK and across the globe, for their continued commitment to provide the safety-critical care their patients and families need.
Dr Chaffer went on to call for further investment in nursing staff to ensure “they are safe and supported is essential in improving the delivery of safe and high-quality health care for all.”