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Applications for Nursing Courses Fall 23%

Posted by Richard Ward in , ,

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

Headlines are likely to focus on the top-level figures released by UCAS this week, which show a 5% fall in the number of full-time undergraduate applications for the 2017 academic year, however nursing was hit particularly hard.

The number of applicants from England that had at least one choice to peruse nursing fell 23% to 33,810 in 2017. This represents the largest decline across any subject.

In addition, most of those applying for nursing are over 19 years old and English applicants from this age group decreased by between 16% and 29%.

While the number of 18 year olds applying for all courses remained relatively flat, those applying for nursing in this age category fell 10%.

According to Janet Davis general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, the decline in the number of applications for nursing courses can be attributed to the switch from grants to fees and loans.

She said: "We warned government the removal of student funding would see a sharp drop in nursing applications. These figures confirm our worst fears."

Ms Davies went on, suggesting the "nursing workforce is in crisis".

With mounting pressure on the NHS and the well reported winter crisis becoming a key political battleground, both the Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt and the Secretary of State for Education Justine Greening will have a difficult task sugar-coating this decline.