Council response to ‘Future Nurses’ report

20 January 2022

The Council welcomes the new report published by UCAS in collaboration with Health Education England (HEE) which explores the demographics and motivations of the future nursing workforce.

The report ‘Next Steps: Who are the ‘future nurses’?’ looks at who is applying to nursing courses, what is inspiring them to do so and outlines some key learning to take forward to ensure the pipeline is sustained.

Dr Katerina Kolyva, Chief Executive Officer of the Council of Deans of Health, said:

“The pandemic has played a part in promoting the health and social care sector and we have seen an increased interest in university healthcare courses. These programmes offer great opportunities to progress in valuable and rewarding careers for students of any age, with increases in 18 year old applicants and mature applicants, as well as any background. The report highlights the inclusivity and accessibility of nursing courses with it being one of only three higher education subjects to have a ‘positive equality gap’.

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, more than 50, 000 students have begun nursing programmes and universities have made huge efforts to offer as many applicants a place as possible. Healthcare higher educators are fully supportive of sector growth but other factors such as placement capacity, academic staffing and resources, regulatory flexibility and student experience have to be taken into account alongside any increase in admissions. We are pleased to see the report highlights the need to ensure sufficient education capacity if the growth in nursing is to be sustained.

Universities work hard to ensure the students receive quality educational experiences and that they are able to progress to become registered professionals. The Council is proud of the contribution of all staff in university healthcare faculties particularly during the challenges of the pandemic. We thank staff across the healthcare higher education sector as well as all healthcare students for their enduring commitment and hard work.”

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