Peter Murphy, from Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Jane Scattergood from Blackpool and Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Groups, have supported a rallying call from England’s chief nurse, Ruth May, urging those receiving their A-Level results this week to join the thousands of youngsters who have already applied to study nursing this year.
More than 300,000 nurses work in the NHS in England, covering a wide variety of roles including children’s care, adults, older people, learning disability, mental health and cancer.
The government has committed to grow this number by 50,000 over the next five years to help address a current shortfall and the NHS has worked with universities to offer thousands of extra nursing places in higher education as part of the NHS Long Term Plan to build a workforce for the future of the health service.
Peter Murphy, director of nursing, AHPs, and quality, said: “I am privileged to have been a nurse for more than 30 years. I truly am honoured to work in and contribute to this most amazing profession. It is a career that offers many rewarding and varied opportunities to people who join.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has seen nurses and midwives really come to the fore and quite rightly been the focus of praise across the nation.
“If you want a job where you can make a positive difference to people’s lives then nursing really is something you should consider.’’
Jane Scattergood, director of nursing and quality for the Fylde Coast CCGs, said: “Over the past few months our nurses and midwives have risen to an immense challenge to provide the highest level of care in such unprecedented circumstances to people across the Fylde coast.
“And while we may be living in uncertain times, one thing that is for certain is that the country and the NHS will always need and cherish nurses.
“Being a nurse for the past 30 years has given me enormous satisfaction, it truly is the most rewarding career. So if you want a job where no two days are the same and you can really make a difference to people’s lives, then please consider joining us and take up a career in nursing.”
With thousands of degree places available at dozens of universities across the country, grants between £5,000 and £8,000 per year available, starting salaries of £24,900 and no shortage of jobs when qualified, the NHS is seeking to highlight nursing as a strong career choice in “uncertain times”.
The NHS People Plan, recently updated with actions for the coming months, also sets out the ambition to recruit and retain thousands more nurses alongside the other clinical staff the health service needs – with measures including more flexible working and wellbeing support aimed at supporting staff and making the NHS the best place to work.
The NHS is one of the top 10 employers in the world, offering around 350 roles, employing more than 1.3 million people, and caring for around one million patients every day.
As well as nursing, a career in the NHS can include roles such as psychiatrist, lab technician, physio, paramedic, scientist, GP, surgeon, anaesthetist and over 300 more.
The call on students to pick a career in nursing comes as the health service launches the next stage of the We are the NHS campaign – the largest ever jobs drive of its kind, helping to bring in a workforce to support delivery of Long Term Plan commitments like speeding up diagnosis of killer conditions, expanding world class mental health services and introducing cutting edge treatments like proton beam therapy for cancer.