There are currently over 16,700 more nurses on wards when compared to 2010. The latest data published by the University and College Admissions Service (on 11 July 2019) shows that there has been a 4.6% increase in the number of undergraduate applicants to pre-registration nursing and midwifery courses when compared to the equivalent point in 2018.
The Department has put in place a number of actions to increase nursing workforce supply, including improving staff retention, return to practice, overseas recruitment and expanding nursing associates.
The interim People Plan (published on 3 June 2019) puts staff at the heart of National Health Service policy and delivery and sets out how we will secure a capable and motivated multidisciplinary healthcare workforce, of a sufficient size, to meet population health needs. It sets out the immediate actions needed to grow the nursing workforce across all settings by over 40,000 in the next five years. A final People Plan will be published in due course.