Nursing workforce

Nurse working on computer

Those who employ nurses have much to think about. They face the challenge of supporting their existing and emerging talent while building a workforce that is capable and flexible enough to meet the UK’s changing healthcare needs. 

Recent policy developments are driving a range of changes including:

  • how the training for nurses is funded 
  • how nurses continue to learn and develop their careers 
  • how nurses are recruited, and where from 
  • how nursing teams are modelled
  • how new roles, such as the nursing associate are helping to fill skills gaps. 

With finite resources, these challenges can only be met by working effectively with local and national partners. Employers are having to think creatively about how to redesign and shape the workforce in order to respond to, and anticipate service needs. 

NHS Employers has a range of information aimed at supporting you to continue to invest in, motivate and acknowledge your staff, enabling them to provide excellent patient care. 


Baby, mother and nurses

Nurse education and training

Employers can develop a nursing workforce able to meet the care needs of patients by delivering high quality education, placements, preceptorships and ongoing development.

Cambridge University Hospitals graduates of nursing apprenticeship degree scheme

Nursing apprenticeship pathway

Find out how Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has used apprenticeships to increase its nursing supply by over 100 nurses per year and decreased agency spend.

cover of the nursing associate guide

Nursing associates

Read our employer guide to the nursing associate role.

nurse taking a patients blood pressure

Nursing strategy: building partnerships

Consider who you can engage with to develop and deliver your nursing workforce strategy.


Using apprenticeships for mental health nursing supply

Read how Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust is using apprenticeships to increase its mental health nursing workforce.


Routes into nursing

Find out more about the different routes into nursing and what you can do to increase your nursing supply.

nurses reviewing notes

Your nursing workforce supply

Actions for employers to consider to expand routes into the nursing workforce, aligned to the We Are the NHS People Plan.

holding hands

Safe staffing guidance

View NHS Improvement's guidance for safe staffing in a range of healthcare settings.

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