Helen Whyley, Director RCN Wales: "While there would appear to be an increase in the number of nurses registering in Wales we should remember that 20% of those nurses do not contribute to the Welsh health system because they work outside the country. I remain concerned that other measures needed to happen in parallel to increasing student nurse education commissions, such as retire and return options and more flexible working arrangements, are not being implemented in sufficient numbers to stem the haemorrhage of experienced nurses from the NHS in Wales. And thus the gap of increasing the supply of nurses against those leaving remains far too wide.
Given the current overreliance on bank and agency nurses and the continued high number of registered nurse vacancies we still need to train more nurses. RCN Wales expressed disappointment when we learned that the nurse education commissioning figures remained static this year instead of increasing. We know that Wales needs more nurses. An investment in student nurses is an investment in our future in health care in Wales.”