The number of nurses and midwives quitting their jobs has risen for the first time in four years, with new data revealing an average of 500 are leaving every week.
While the overall number of nurses and midwives in the UK grew, 27,000 workers left last year – a 13 per cent increase from 2020.
Too much pressure and poor workplace cultures were the most common reasons given by those leaving nursing, while more than a third said the pandemic influenced their decision.
The new data also highlights the UK’s increasing reliance on nurses from overseas, who now make up half of all newly trained nurses joining the profession.
Travel restrictions introduced during the pandemic meant the number of internationally trained nurses and midwives fell sharply in 2020, but the number then increased last year, with over 23,000 internationally trained nurses joining the register – 66 percent of whom trained in India or the Philippines.
Andrea Sutcliffe, chief executive and registrar at the NMC cautioned that overreliance on professionals from abroad could leave the UK vulnerable to a severe shortage of nurses if another pandemic or global crisis disrupted international recruitment.