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Fears over nurse shortage

31 Jul 2007

Fears over nurse shortage Uncertainty over graduate employment prospects are putting many students off studying nursing at university, experts have suggested.

As reported by the BBC, the number of students applying to study the subject at the University of Central England (UCE) has fallen by a third in twelve months.

University figures suggest that some 250 people applied to study nursing in 2006, but only around 160 had registerd interest for 2007 to 2008.

It seems that many school leavers are opting for graduate careers that offer more stability.

Lilieth Williams, head of nursing and women's health at UCE, said recent bad publicity about NHS job cuts may well have put people off.

However, she emphasised that students keen to study nursing should take a longer-term view.

Job prospects, she pointed out, could have significantly improved by the time this year's applicants graduate.

Ms Williams explained: "If you start [studying] in September, by 2011 or 12, a large super-hospital is due to open.

"We're trying to say to them 'the future could be quite different for your career'.

She continued: "I've been in the NHS long enough to know that in 18 months things could be very different."

Nick Gee, a newly-qualified nurse, commented: "While this is a very rewarding programme to do I think there will be a lot of students who are put off applying because they're not absolutely sure they will find gainful employment at the end of it."

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