Health educators have responded to data showing an increase in the number of confirmed applicant places for nursing courses across the UK, welcoming the increase in applicants but calling for further efforts to support future growth.
Data from the University and College Admissions Service (UCAS) on the number of confirmed places on nursing undergraduate courses in the UK, shows a 4 per cent increase in the number of placed applicants overall and a 3 per cent increase in England. The data also shows a rise in the number of placed applicants aged 18 from England and Scotland, and a rise in placed applicants aged 25 and over across the UK. However, there has been a fall in the number of placed applicants aged 20 – 24 in all four nations.
Dr Katerina Kolyva, Executive Director of the Council of Deans of Health, said:
‘The increase in placed applicants to undergraduate nursing courses in all four nations demonstrates that nursing continues to be highly regarded by prospective students as a valuable and rewarding career. It also reflects the hard work done by universities to recruit to courses and this will continue throughout clearing. Despite this, there is more work to be done if we are to provide the future workforce the NHS needs and encourage applications to courses where places have been harder to fill. Recruitment to nursing, midwifery and allied health professions courses could be further supported by the introduction of maintenance grants for healthcare students and the NHS recruitment campaign, which was a positive first step, needs to be sustained in future years and extended to focus on all the professions”.