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Nursing and Midwifery Council -- Statistics 2002


Press statement: Embargo: 00.01, Tuesday 19 November 2002

Record numbers of men in nursing: 10% for first time.

One in ten nurses in the UK is now a man according to the latest statistics from the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

n its annual statistics, covering the year to the end of March 2002, more than 10% of those on the register were men, the first time the figure has reached 10%. There were 65,755 men out of a total register of 644,024. The vast majority of these were nurses, as there were only 93 male midwives in current practice, and only 340 men on the register have a health visiting qualification.The bulk of male nurses work as general nurses or as mental health nurses. With around 15% of student nurses being men, the proportion in the profession is likely to continue rising for the foreseeable future.

The NMC's annual statistics also highlight a sharp increase in numbers on the register, the continued long-term trend of an ageing register, evidence of an active recruitment drive by USA hospitals and re-migration back to the Irish Republic, and a large increase in the number of nurses who are prescribing.

The number of nurses, midwives and health visitors on the register jumped from 632,050 to 644,024, the highest total since 1997 and the biggest annual increase for 10 years.

The percentage of nurses, midwives and health visitors who are 50 years of age or older was, at 26%, the highest ever.

The number of overseas-trained nurses and midwives coming to the UK was, at 15,064, 79% up on the previous year and the highest ever level.

Numbers of UK nurses and midwives going abroad were, at 6,256, at their highest level for 10 years. There is evidence of a strong recruitment drive from America as, at 1,089, this was 130% up on the previous year and the highest known level.

There were record numbers of nurses and midwives going abroad to European Union countries. Of the 1,057 who did - up 76% on the previous year - the vast bulk were nurses returning to the Irish Republic.

The number of nurse prescribers recording their prescribing qualification on the register rose by 6,671 over the year, to 28,744, an increase of 30%.

Jonathan Asbridge, NMC President, said:

"Opening up the profession to men means twice as many potential recruits into nursing. The old cultural barriers have come down and professions once dominated by men or women are becoming more reflective of society as a whole. In the case of nursing, this must be better for our patients. "The substantial increase in nurse prescribers is an exciting and important development. This will help reduce bureaucracy and speed up patient treatment. For nurses themselves, this heralds a major change in their practice and is a recognition of their potential."

E N D S Press statement 207/2002 15 November 2002

For further information contact Stuart Skyte on 020 7333 6558 or on 020 7333 6557