Royal College of Nursing responds to new data on UK nursing workforce

Press Release 08/05/2019

Responding to new data on the UK nursing workforce published in the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) register today (Wednesday 8 May), Royal College of Nursing Chief Executive and General Secretary Dame Donna Kinnair said:

“Any boost to the register is good news but looking behind the headlines raises further concerns.

“Politicians should be alarmed by the finding that almost one in three quit nursing because of intolerable pressure. They have abused the goodwill of nurses for too long and that dam is starting to burst.

“The modest increases are not of the scale or kind needed to meet demand and the workforce crisis isn’t abating. It is inappropriate to rely on a steady stream of nurses from beyond the EU, which seems to be the plan in England in particular.

“The official figures reveal a big net loss in European nurses, with fears over Brexit cited as the main reason for leaving and partly driving efforts to recruit from even further afield.

“Every country of the UK needs a serious strategy for the domestic workforce to recruit, train and retain a new generation of nurses and have accountability set in law.”


  • For more information or to arrange a media interview, please contact the RCN press office at 020 7647 3633 or email 
  • For more information on the NMC register, please contact the NMC press office on 020 7681 5415 or email                                                                                                                               

Press Office Contacts

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