Whether the new Government has pledged 30,000 or 50,000 new nurses is largely immaterial.
They're big numbers.
And whilst reintroduction of new student grants should encourage students onto nursing degrees, that’s a long-term solution that’s going to take a while to impact.
So what’s the market for experienced nurses look like?
There are approximately 39,520 nursing vacancies in England - meaning around 11% of roles were vacant. <!--[if !supportLineBreakNewLine]-->
And based on an analysis of published vacancies in January 2020, the number of Nurse job ads is 17.6% higher than last year, with 63,197 current vacancies.
However the really bad news is that the number of people searching for UK nursing jobs has fallen by nearly a fifth in the past two years, according to research from Indeed.
Its analysis of data from the website found that job searches for nursing roles fell by 17.4% between October 2017 and October 2019, suggesting recruiting for nurses on a large scale could be challenging.
What’s more, the analysis also found that the decline in job searches for nurse roles was higher in some parts of the UK.
One of the biggest drops was in Birmingham, where searches have fallen by 14.4% in the past two years and London (which employs the largest number of nurses of any region in the UK) also reduced by 13.6%.
Before you throw yourself from the nearest window, don’t despair. TMP’s work for Greater Manchester Nurses shows how imaginative and impactful communications can generate a huge amount of interest, applications and industry awards.
Frantic efforts are being made to boost applications for nursing degree courses before next week’s annual Ucas deadline, following the partial U-turn just before Christmas on the scrapping of training bursaries. At a cost of more than £2bn, students are being offered new grants worth between £5,000 and £8,000 a year – although they must still pay tuition fees – in tacit recognition that the abolition of bursaries in 2016 was a big mistake. The scramble to fill training places is central to ministers’ need to fulfil their general election promise to deliver 50,000 “more” nurses in England. And notwithstanding the linguistic and mathematical gymnastics that magically reduce that target to nearer 30,000 fresh pairs of hands, the investment is welcome.