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Nursing recruitment crisis feared

A poll of more than 3,000 nurses across the UK has revealed that there will be a "recruitment crisis" in nursing in the country within two years.

Of the 3,392 nurses surveyed for the Nursing Times, 86% said they believed there would be a shortage in the next few years, while 91% said there were not enough nurses in the system already.

Asked about their plans for the next five years, more than a quarter said they were planning to leave the profession, with 40% saying it was due to retirement but 30% citing "burnout".

And while 40% would not recommend the profession to somebody thinking of pursuing nursing, 76% said they did find it fulfilling.

Research for the Royal College of Nursing shows that there are currently just under 400,000 nurses working in the UK with around 180,000 are due to retire in the next decade.

James Buchan, professor at the faculty of social sciences and health care at Queen Margaret University College in Edinburgh, said: "This flags up the big issue that is looming in nursing - that significant numbers of experienced staff are not going to be around in five years' time.

"The issue of work-related stress is one of the issues facing nursing that has yet to be solved."

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Royal College of Nursing

Are we facing a recruitment crisis? Let us know what you think! Your comments: (Terms and conditions apply)

"I am a senior practice nurse aged 54 who is just chafing at the bit to advance my practice, but my employing GP just will not support me to do nurse prescribing. When I showed him my 'M' level certificate in CVD risk assessment he just put it to one side and disregarded it. I have been seeking a post in a more forward-thinking practice but most GPs seem to want inexperience and lowest salary, or nurse practitioners. If a job comes up out of nursing that gives me my £30,000  a year and enables me to pay my mortgage, and have more input into my role I will take it. I don't plan to retire until I am 70 and love my job but detest the politics and being managed by people who do not understand the nursing role or nursing management and have a strangle hold over my professional development." - Lynne, Manchester

"You are. Check the space. The UK government think they have enough nurses and especially immigrants are shown red card when seeking for NHS jobs. The fleet is soon coming and immigrants will move on to other receptive countries or back home. What next? The same UK government will start giving incetives to immigrant nurses to come back. Their countries will have corrected mistakes then and they will have no need to immigrate. I am happy to be a nurse and any patient care gives me satisfaction. Unthankful employer makes me ill. YOU ARE DEFINATELY FACING A RECRUITMENT CRISIS. English people do not fathom to work pessure." - Gladys GM, Newcastle Upon Tyne

"I'm not so sure. I've just recently qualified and myself like many on my course have failed to find a job. Looking at the recruitment pages, there are only two jobs within a 20/25 mile radius. And the jobs that are available are looking for two years experience. Based on that I will be one of the many unable to join the NHS workforce and am finding myself having to seek office work." - Sue, Scotland

"The passion has left nursing with trained staff demoralised due to workload and understaffing. More is expected with fewer people. Protocols and decisions are made when the people that have to abide to them do not have any input. I'm a student nurse and hope to qualify in 12 months and know that my passion has to be focussed for my patients, to do my best and stand up for what you believe is right for them. Lets hope there is a boost in the system and soon." - Kim French, Wigan