More than 70,000 Google searches have been made around how to become a nurse so far this year, a significant rise on previous years, research has found.
The data is from e-learning provider DeltaNet International, which analysed 50 popular careers to uncover patterns in people switching jobs during the pandemic.
It found 72,830 searches had been made for ‘retrain as a nurse’, ‘train as a nurse’ or ‘how to become a nurse’ so far in 2021 – an 89% increase on the same time period five years ago and a 60% increase in the past year alone.
This is compared to just a 27% increase in searches for ‘retrain as an accountant’ and a 12% increase in searches for ‘retrain as a teacher’ between 2020 and 2021.
Overall, nursing was the third most-searched career after becoming a teacher (303,680 searches) and a personal trainer (276,170). In comparison, switching to pharmacy was the tenth most-searched career change (15,510).
DeltaNet International MD Darren Hockley said: ‘The last year has really shone a light on key workers, and in particular the NHS, and I think it’s shown just how rewarding a career as a nurse can be.
‘It’s also opened people’s eyes up to the strain on the healthcare system and the shortage of registered nurses, which has no doubt had an impact on people’s decisions and desire to make a difference.’
However, there are ongoing concerns about nursing shortages, with polling this week by the RCN showing that seven in 10 members of the public think there are too few nurses to deliver safe care, while 28% feel that themselves or their families may not get the care required when needed.