NMC data linked with Census to help influence positive change in nursing and midwifery

Published on 07 March 2024

We share insights to help improve the health and care sector, ensuring safe, kind and effective nursing and midwifery care for people and communities. We’re supporting researchers to do the same through a groundbreaking initiative.

For the first time, the NMC’s registration data has been linked with the Census to create a better picture of the available nursing and midwifery workforce in England and Wales.

Researchers at universities and other eligible organisations will be able to analyse the data of all professionals who were on our register at the end of each March from 2018 to 2023 – providing they also took part in the 2021 Census in England and Wales. Our anonymised data includes whether professionals have an NMC approved post-registration qualification, when they joined our register, whether they trained domestically or internationally, their protected characteristics, and where they live in the UK.

By combining NMC and Census data for the first time, researchers can answer a range of questions around professionals’ employment, education and housing. This will then enable us to share further insights with our partners across health and care, and support workforce planning as we learn which roles professionals are undertaking and where they’re working.

Research on people’s social circumstances can enable us to strengthen our support for professionals by giving us more insight into what may be affecting their ability to deliver high quality care.

We are collaborating with the Scottish Centre for Administrative Data Research (SCADR), the Office for National Statistics (ONS), and Administrative Data Research UK (ADR UK). ADR UK is offering funding of up to £200,000 for research projects using this linked data. Projects will have to demonstrate benefits for the public good.

Caroline Kenny, Head of Research and Evidence at the NMC, said:

“This is a really exciting opportunity to develop a richer understanding of professionals on our register and to use it to influence the wider health and care sector in a way that improves people’s health and wellbeing.

“We’re keen to collaborate with researchers to help further their understanding of nursing and midwifery, so that they in turn can help us enhance how we regulate professionals, and support them to provide safe, effective and kind care.

“While this initial work focuses on England and Wales, this is just one step in our journey to share our data and insights for the benefits of the health and care sector. We intend to set up similar initiatives with Scotland and Northern Ireland.”

Anyone who may be interested in bidding for research opportunities has until 28 March to express interest, and then until the end of April to submit their application. Stakeholders such as professional bodies and charities are encouraged to partner with researchers to ensure findings are relevant and useful. Successful applicants will receive confirmation in the summer. Watch this webinar to find out more details about the initiative. To submit an application for funding, you can apply here.


All data provided to researchers will be anonymous and professionals who have opted out of research with us are not included.

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