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NurChat 14/02/17 – The future of Nursing in crisis?

It would seem that fears over a decline in nursing and midwifery students following the removal of the bursary have been realised.  Applications for courses that would have previously attracted the funding entitlement are down by as much as 23% (source: Guardian).

Applications for all university places fell by 5% overall for courses starting in September, but nursing has experienced the most significant drop. This means almost 10,000 new nurses won’t be graduating in summer 2020 (source: RCN). In addition, it’s estimated that half of the nursing workforce will become eligible for retirement that year.

This also comes at a time when the number of EU-based nurses moving to the UK appears to have fallen dramatically (source: The Telegraph).

Many are describing the situation as a crisis, and it certainly could be viewed as a ‘perfect storm’ of conditions that threaten a workforce already overburdened and struggling to deliver positive outcomes for their patients. While the Department of Health appear to acknowledge the drop in student applications, they expect numbers will bounce back next year in the same manner as they did the year after student loans were introduced (source: Nursing Times).

But what if that doesn’t happen, and equally, what if it does?

In this #NurChat we’re going to be talking about the future of the nursing profession.

  • What are some of the fundamental changes that need to happen, not just with education, but across all aspects of our work?
  • How can we help drive those changes?
  • As 1,000 individuals begin a trial as ‘nursing associates’ this year, is there a risk that our nursing skill-set will be diluted?
  • How will patients be affected by changes in the nursing workforce?

Read back over the discussion here.