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Record numbers accept a place to study nursing and midwifery

9 December 2021

Health Education England (HEE) is delighted to see that this year we have more than 30,000 individuals accepting places to study nursing.

Figures released today by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) show 30,185 nursing applicants secured places at English universities in 2021 – which is a 35 per cent increase since 2018.

This followed an unprecedented 25.9 per cent increase from 23,630 in 2019 to 29,740 in 2020. That growth has been sustained and this year, the total rose by 1.5 per cent.

The number of 18-year-old school leavers taking up places to study nursing went up by 10 per cent in the last year.

Professor Mark Radford, Chief Nurse, Health Education England, said: 

“Reaching 30,000 acceptances onto nursing courses is a major milestone and I’m delighted to see last year’s huge increase has been maintained.

“It has been another tough year for the NHS but we have continued to work extremely hard to attract a diverse range of people to this rewarding career.

“The pandemic has shone a spotlight on the vital contributions of our nurses and I am hugely proud of their commitment in these challenging times.”

HEE has worked on the ‘We are the NHS’ recruitment campaign with NHS England and Improvement, to encourage school and college leavers and career switchers to consider an NHS 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 

Joint news story https://www.gov.uk/government/news/record-numbers-accept-a-place-to-study-nursing-and-midwifery