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Attracting young people into nursing

06 June 2024
Volume 33 · Issue 11


Using data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) large-scale Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) (OECD, 2018)

A Department of Health and Social Care Media Team blog (2023) summarised the NHS England Long Term Workforce Plan ambition to almost double the number of adult nurse training places by 2031, with around 24000 more nurse and midwife training places a year by 2031. This policy, however, presumes the existence of a sufficient pool of people interested in taking up these opportunities. Although there will be a range of ages of people applying for nurse training, have we really maximised the opportunities in schools to attract people into our professions?

According to Jabbal (2022), despite the NHS being one of the biggest employers in England, only 6 per cent of the workforce is under the age of 25 years, with the average age of staff being around the mid-40s. Granted, the NHS has a larger proportion of jobs that require professional qualifications than some other sectors but, despite major campaigns and initiatives, it does not appear to have delivered.

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