Nursing workforce

Nurses discussion

Nursing is diverse, spans the whole health sector, and forms the largest part of the workforce. Employers are faced with a great challenge - but also a great opportunity - to develop a nursing workforce which meets the increasing and changing needs of the UK population.

The Francis report made 28 recommendations for changes to nursing regulation or delivery. The need for more community-based, flexible care, to provide for an ageing population with more complex health conditions, makes it inevitable that employers will need to transform how they plan, develop, and regulate their nursing workforce. 

Follow the links below to find out more about the changes, and the reasons for them, which will have an impact on the nursing workforce and employers in the NHS.

Managing the supply of nurses

NHS Employers is working with a range of partners from across the health system as part of a Health Education England (HEE) steering group to look at how we can improve the recruitment and retention of the nursing workforce. We are aware that nurse supply and demand issues are proving challenging for a number of NHS organisations at present and that many organisations are assessing staffing levels in the light of recent reviews and the new guidance provided by the National Quality Board.

Research has shown that employers often require more experienced or specialised nurses, and HEE is leading on work to help encourage registered nurses back to work. There will also be a review of the content of the educational programmes to ensure they equip nurses with the skills required of modern nursing practice. Find out more on the Health Education England website.

Download a copy of the research which has helped to inform and shape the co-ordinated recruitment and retention solutions being explored by the HEE steering group.

Baby, mother and nurses

Nursing education and training

Students of today become our future workforce, so delivering high quality education, placements, preceptorships and ongoing development is vital if we are to improve patient care.

Nurse taking a patient

Compassion in Practice

Compassion in Practice sets out the vision and strategy for the nursing workforce in England.

Physio patient in pool

Dementia care

Patients suffering with Dementia demands changes to how services are delivered.


Safe staffing guidance

Information and guidance on safe staffing in the NHS.

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