New analysis from the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has found that the number of staff from the EU joining the register in the last 12 months has dropped by almost 90%.
The NMC’s report on the nursing register has revealed that only 805 nurses and midwives from the EU joined the register in the period from March 2017 to March 2018, a drop of 87% on the 6,382 EU nurses that joined in the 12 month period prior to this.
This was compounded by an increase in the number of EU nurses leaving the register. The analysis showed that 3,962 nurses and midwives from the EU left the register between April 2017 and March 2018 – 881 more than April 2016 to March 2017, a rise of 29%.
When a subsection of the EU nurses were asked as to their reasons why they were leaving the register, 47% cited Brexit as a factor in them considering working outside of the UK.
The EU decline was offset slightly by an increase in the number of UK nurses, which grew by 1,321 over the last 12 months, and non-EU nurses, which grew by 1,093 over the same period.
But the total number of registered nurses as of March 2018 fell by 968 to 646,637.
But NMC chief executive Jackie Smith said that the number of EU nurses leaving the register ‘remained a major concern’.
She said: ‘The number of people from the EU leaving our register remains a major concern, despite reassuring comments from senior members of government and nurse leaders. While the picture for UK trained nurses and midwives appears to be stabilising.
‘The government has announced an increase in undergraduate training places and those responsible for workforce planning should continue to look at what can be done to better support the nursing profession at this difficult time.’