New data has found that applications to undergraduate nursing courses in England this year are up by over a third, taking the government one step closer to its manifesto commitment of 50,000 more nurses in the NHS.
UCAS has received 48,830 applications to nursing courses in England, up from 35,960 at the same point last year, representing a 34% increase.
Last year, the number of people accepting a place on a nursing course increased by 27% compared to 2019.
The figures show that there is a rise in applications of more than 50% among 24 to 34 year olds and 43% among 35-and-overs, as well as a 41% increase in male applicants.
Minister for Care, Helen Whately said: “I’m delighted to see such an incredible boost in this year’s applications, with more mature applicants helping to contribute to a diverse and truly representative nursing workforce. Thank you to everyone who has stepped up to support our health and social care services.
“These are the nurses of the future who will help the NHS and social care recover from this pandemic and continue to deliver world-class care to patients for years to come.
“These figures are a testament to the work of Health Education England and UCAS in highlighting nursing as a rewarding and accessible career path, as well as the remarkable achievements of all health and care professionals over the past year.
“We’re another step closer to delivering 50,000 more nurses for our NHS and providing better healthcare for everyone.”
Health Education England is working with health and education sector partners to make sure there are enough places for all suitable applicants who will go on to take up jobs in the NHS or social care sector.
Last year, the Government introduced a new training grant for eligible nursing, midwifery and allied health profession (including paramedic) students of at least £5,000 a year, which does not need to be paid back.