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HEE welcomes record increase in applications for nursing degrees

18 February 2021

Health Education England has welcomed new figures out today showing a record rise in the number of university applications to become nurses.

By January 29 – the deadline to start degrees this autumn – a total of 60,130 people across the UK had applied for nursing courses, up 32 per cent on last year.

The figure is even higher for applications to English universities, at 34 per cent with a total of 48,830 applicants, according to the figures from the university admissions service UCAS. Applications have risen for the third year running and have soared across every age group.

Today’s statistics come on the heels of promising recruitment news for specialist areas of nursing.

Latest figures for England from UCAS show the number of new starters on degree courses to study mental health and learning disability nursing also rose by nearly a third last year, at 31 per cent.

Professor Mark Radford, Chief Nurse, Health Education England, said: "To see applications rise for the third year running, and by such an extraordinary leap, is really wonderful news. 

"The tireless and outstanding commitment of all our nurses over the past year - from students and practising professionals to those who've returned to work to help with the pandemic response - is the best possible advert for the nursing profession.

"We will work with our outstanding universities to welcome and support many thousands of new recruits to embark on this amazing and truly rewarding career."

For more information on becoming a nurse and hundreds of other career options in the health service, visit the NHS Health Careers website here:-  https://www.healthcareers.nhs.uk/we-are-nhs/we-are-nhs