Our priority is getting more nurses on our wards, which is why from September 2018 we increased the funding for the number of nurse training places available by 25%, allowing more people to study nursing than ever before.
The latest data from the University and College Admissions Service shows that there has been a 4.5% increase in applicants to nursing or midwifery courses at English universities when compared to this time last year in 2018.
The Department has put in place significant actions to boost the supply of nurses, ranging from training more nurses, offering new routes into the profession, enhancing reward and pay packages to make nursing more attractive and improve retention, and encouraging those that have left to return to nursing.
Health Education England is leading a national Nursing Associate expansion programme to train 7,500 Nursing Associate apprentices in 2019 which provides a pathway in to nursing for those that wish to progress on to become a Registered Nurse.
The NHS Long Term Plan, published on 7 January 2019, sets out a vital strategic framework to ensure that over the next 10 years the National Health Service will have the staff it needs. This will ensure that nurses are able to offer the expert compassionate care that they are committed providing. To ensure a detailed plan that everyone in the NHS can get behind, my Rt. hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has asked Baroness Harding to lead an inclusive programme of work to set out a detailed workforce implementation plan to be published in the spring.