References

Dunbar H, Carter B. A sense of belonging: The importance of fostering student nurses' affective bonds. J Child Health Care. 2017; 21:(4)367-369 https://doi.org/10.1177/1367493517739977

The clinical environment – do student nurses belong? A review of Australian literature. 2015. https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/143896355.pdf (accessed 29 June 2020)

Health Foundation. How many nursing students are leaving or suspending their degrees before graduation?. 2019. https://tinyurl.com/yb39ybk9 (accessed 29 June 2020)

King C, Russell K, Bulsara C. Promoting student belongingness: ‘WANTED’ – the development, implementation and evaluation of a toolkit for nurses. Aust J Adv Nurs.. 2018; 34:(3)48-53

National Audit Office. The NHS nursing workforce. 2020. https://tinyurl.com/uusnwd2 (accessed 29 June 2020)

NHS England, NHS Improvement. The NHS long term plan. 2019. https://tinyurl.com/y6dzmk2o (accessed 29 June 2020)

NHS Business Services Authority. New funding FAQs. 2020. https://tinyurl.com/ybyj3z2a (accessed 30 June 2020)

Nursing and Midwifery Council. Registration data reports. 2020. https://tinyurl.com/ycdo7xfs (accessed 29 June 2020)

Royal College of Nursing. Left to chance: the health and care nursing workforce supply in England. Policy Report. 2018. https://tinyurl.com/ych5588w (accessed 29 June 2020)

Protecting student nurses is crucial to saving the nursing workforce

09 July 2020
3 min read
Volume 29 · Issue 13

The NHS Long Term Plan sets out an ambitious programme of NHS service-delivery expansion and change (NHS England and NHS Improvement, 2019). It highlights the need to address workforce shortfalls and recognises the complexities of retention in the workforce, as well as student nurse attrition rates (Health Foundation, 2019).

Nurses are critical to the delivery of health and social care services, working across hospitals, community services, care homes and primary care. Nurses make up about a quarter of all NHS staff (National Audit Office (NAO), 2020) and registered nurses comprise the largest proportion of the professionally qualified workforce within the UK. In 2019, there were 706 252 people on the professional Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) register (NMC, 2020).

However, despite overall increases in the number of registered nurses, there have often been substantial reductions for some types of nurse, such as learning disability nurses (NAO, 2020). Furthermore, activity in hospital and community health services has significantly outpaced the growth in nurse numbers (Health Foundation, 2019). The NHS has reported a nursing vacancy rate of 12% (NAO, 2020) and around 80% of vacancies are filled by temporary staff (NAO, 2020).

Register now to continue reading

Thank you for visiting British Journal of Nursing and reading some of our peer-reviewed resources for nurses. To read more, please register today. You’ll enjoy the following great benefits:

What's included

  • Limited access to clinical or professional articles

  • Unlimited access to the latest news, blogs and video content