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Royal College of Nursing responds to Labour Party analysis of numbers leaving nursing

Press Response 27/03/2019

Responding to new analysis from the Labour Party into the number of nurses leaving health and care, and pledges to reinvest in nurses' learning and development, Royal College of Nursing Acting Chief Executive and General Secretary Dame Donna Kinnair said:

“Health and care services are losing thousands of experienced, dedicated nursing staff who feel as if no one is sufficiently listening to their concerns and patient care is routinely compromised by chronic staff shortages.  The RCN is calling for accountability for staffing of safe and effective care to be enshrined in law in England  - at the highest levels - to ensure we have the right numbers of nurses in the right places across health and social care.

“It will be impossible to grow the number of nursing students in higher education, and refresh our workforce, without a clear commitment to addressing supply and a fresh funding of at least £1 billion to replace the existing flawed system. We also need a sustained increase in funding for continuing professional development which must be tailored to ensure nursing staff have the skills they need now and for the future.”


  • The RCN is calling for immediate investment by the Government of at least £1 billion into nursing higher education to encourage more people to train to become nurses. Find out more about our Fund our Future campaign here. 
  • The RCN is campaigning for safe and effective care in England. Having the right number of registered nurses with the right knowledge, skills and experience is critical to the delivery of safe and effective care. Posts left unfilled also put enormous pressure on nursing staff as patients expect the same level of care, but delivered by fewer nurses.  Find out more about our campaign here.



Press Office Contacts

Katherine Jarman, Head of Media
020 7647 3484 / 077186 96838

Daniel Sutherland, Senior Media Officer
020 7647 3695

Nick Spears, Senior Media Officer
020 7647 3696

Out of hours duty press officer
020 7647 3633