Record numbers of UK nursing students as pandemic inspires next generation

RECORD numbers of UK nursing students as pandemic inspires the next generation, according to the latest data on university admissions published by UCAS.

The data shows record numbers of students accepted places to study nursing and midwifery in England this year, with the final figures from this year’s admission cycle showing around 29,740 acceptances to nursing and midwifery courses in England, 6,110 more than last year – an increase of over a quarter (26 per cent).

This year, 23 per cent (6,770) of acceptances were from students aged 35 years and older, a 43 per cent increase on last year.

The number of new nursing applicants to English providers between January 15 and June 30 was 68 per cent (4,600) higher than the same period last year.

The lockdown period (March 23 to June 30 deadline) itself saw nearly double the number of applications to nursing relative to the same period in the year previously.

Minister for Care Helen Whately said: “It’s fantastic to see so many people choosing to pursue a career in nursing and midwifery, with over a quarter more students starting on courses. This year has shown just how much we depend on nurses. I have no doubt that their incredible work has inspired the next generation to pursue careers in the NHS and social care.”

“This year we’ve also introduced a new training grant for nursing students of at least £5,000 a year, helping to remove the barriers for anyone considering this brilliant career.

“With over 14,800 more nurses working in our NHS compared to last year, we are on our way to delivering 50,000 more by the end of this Parliament to help us build back better.”

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Matthew Roscoe

Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at