Figures released by the British Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has found a 13% rise in the numbers of nurses and midwives leaving the profession over the past year.
The latest annual data from the NMC revealed a total of 27,133 nurses and midwives made the decision to exit the profession between April 2021 and March 2022.
Of the reasons provided for the exodus, the most common were: retirement, “personal circumstances”, too much pressure at work, negative workplace culture and plans to leave the UK entirely.
Publishing the data, Andrea Sutcliffe, Chief Executive and Registrar at the NMC, warned those who left “shared troubling stories about the pressure they’ve had to bear during the pandemic”.
In responding to the alarming data, the Royal College of Nursing General Secretary and Chief Executive, Pat Cullen said that the loss “is being felt profoundly by both patients and nurses alike”.
“When we have tens of thousands of vacant nurse jobs, a sharp rise in leavers should not be overlooked while we welcome new recruits. Ministers should avoid overclaiming today – nursing staff tell us these shortages are biting more than ever.
“With an imminent government decision on NHS pay and the pay review body reports due this month, these figures are a reminder of the scale of the challenge and why radical action is needed to boost the nursing workforce”.
The College has called for a sustainable workforce plan to be implemented urgently by the British government to stem the tide of nurses and midwives leaving.