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England sees record number of nursing applicants amid coronavirus pandemic

Christian Fernsby |
Applications in England to join nurse training courses have rocketed by 16 percent to hit 47,320 by the end of June, 2020, figures from the Nursing and Midwifery's Council revealed Thursday.

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Topics: ENGLAND   

The number of nurses on its permanent register to work is now 716,607, an increase of 18,370 compared to a year earlier, it said.

At the same time the number of trained nurses in Britain who are leaving the register has also fallen to a five-year low.

It is the second year in a row that applicant numbers have risen following a 6.4 percent yearly increase in 2019.

Welcoming the record numbers, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said "nurses have saved countless lives during the pandemic, and the NHS (National Health Service) simply couldn't function without them."

Downing Street said the number of nursing and midwifery applicants to English universities has also risen for the second year running.

Nearly two thirds of nursing and midwifery applicants living in England are mature students aged 21 or over, a 24 percent increase year-on-year.

Student nurses and midwives starting courses from September are to be given additional support of at least 5,000 pounds (about 6,327 U.S. dollars) a year to help with their living costs, which they won't have to pay back.

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