New figures show an increase in numbers of nurses and midwives leaving the professions

Published on 03 July 2017

NMC registration data published today

New figures that we’ve published today show an increase in the number of nurses and midwives leaving our register while at the same time, numbers joining have slowed down. This has resulted in an overall reduction in the numbers of nurses and midwives registered to work in the UK.

Recently public attention has focused on the reducing number of EU nurses and midwives joining our register. But today’s figures show that it is mainly UK nurses and midwives who are leaving the register, resulting in the overall downward trend.

For the first time in recent history the numbers leaving are now outstripping the numbers joining with this trend most pronounced for UK nurses and midwives who make up around 85 per cent of the register. Between 2016 and 2017, 45 per cent more UK registrants left the register than joined it for the first time.

Data also seems to show that more nurses and midwives are leaving the register before retirement age with a noticeable increase in those aged under 40 leaving.

Earlier this month we conducted a survey of more than 4,500 nurses and midwives who left the register over the previous 12 months. Excluding retirement, the top reasons given included working conditions, (including issues such as staffing levels), a change in personal circumstances (such as ill health or caring responsibilities) and a disillusionment with the quality of care provided to patients


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