Scotland’s NHS is seeking to hire nurses over other health professionals official figures have shown.
The Scottish government is aiming for a 1.5% increase in nursing and midwifery staff, a total of 856 new nurses.
One area, NHS Lothian is aiming to hire 3.5% more staff (around 316 full time nurses) the largest projected increase.
But over the last four months the nursing and midwifery workforce has grown by just 0.2%.
According to the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Scotland, this is a sign the NHS in Scotland is trying to turn around recent cuts.
However, RCN Scotland director Theresa Fyffe believes it could be too little too late.
She said: “While significant cuts were being made to the workforce and fewer student nurses were being trained, we warned that this ‘boom and bust’ approach was likely to be costly, in terms of patient care.
“Today we see vacancies continuing to rise, albeit at a slower rate, as some health boards try to recruit to posts where there just aren’t enough appropriately qualified nurses available. With robust workforce and student intake planning in the past, this situation could have been avoided.”