Demand for UK nursing degrees rises by a third in pandemic

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The Covid pandemic has inspired a new generation of students to become nurses, with a third more applying to study the subject at university than last year, though professional leaders say the rise only brings numbers back to the level of five years ago.

Figures show that applications to enrol in nursing degrees have reached more than 60,000, a rebound after years of decline following the removal of government support for tuition fees and living costs.

Mike Adams, a director of the Royal College of Nursing, said the increase was still insufficient to fill tens of thousands of NHS nursing vacancies. “This starts by providing full tuition funding and living cost support to make sure none of these students are forced to leave because of financial pressures,” he said.

Nursing is especially popular among mature students, where there was a 39% rise in applications. But there were increases in applications across all age groups in the UK, with a record 16,560 applications from 18-year-old school leavers, an increase of 27%.

Main Photo: A mural depicting depicting NHS nurse Melanie Senior, based on a photograph by Johannah Churchill, which The National Portrait Gallery commissioned artist Peter Barber to create, in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. EPA-EFE/PETER POWELL

Read more via The Guardian

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