For the second year in a row, the number of applications to train as a nurse in England has fallen. Compared to this point in 2017, the figures have fallen by 13% and when you consider that the 2017 figures fell by 13% compared to the 2016 figures, this is a negative trend that should be concerning for everyone. There is no denying that people within the healthcare sector will be looking at these figures in a worried manner but given that nurses are essential in helping all of us, there is a need for everyone to take notice of these figures.
The turning point when came the Government decided to end the free education provision for nurses, forcing a switch to a system where loans were at the heart of the agreement. Figures have dropped by a third and it is beginning to look as though this has been a catastrophic move by the Government with respect to the number of nurses that are applying to study in England. There has also been a dip in the volume of older students looking to apply for this style of course.
A fall in applications for nursing courses
So far, a total of 29.390 people in England have applied to study nursing at University in the next academic year. In 2017, a total of 33,810 people had made an application to the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service and it was UCAS who provided this information. Back in 2016, when successful applicants would have their fees paid for them, a total of 43,800 people applied. We all know that there is a financial element to virtually every decision that is made these days, but the drop-off here can have very serious consequences, and this is why people need to wonder if enough is being done to support the NHS. The move from a bursary system to a loan system was always likely to have an impact on the number of people who were looking to apply for a place studying nursing, but this level of drop-off may not have been expected.
The drop-offs are across the board
There was a noted 15% drop in people aged between 20 and 24 years old with the age group of people aged 25 years and older witnessed a drop of 19%.