Hundreds of nurses rejoined profession during pandemic

A special temporary register was created early in the health crisis.

Hundreds of nurses rejoined profession during pandemic PA Ready

More than 1800 Scottish nurses and midwives re-registered with the profession in response to the coronavirus pandemic, figures show.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) annual registration report shows 1812 nurses and midwives joined a special temporary register set up in March 2020.

As the virus began to spread rapidly, governments across the UK urged those who had de-registered in recent years to come back to help in a variety of roles across the health service.

The NMC figures also show the overall number of nurses and midwives on the permanent register in Scotland grew to 70,789 in the year to April 2021, a rise of 1.3%.

Susan Aitkenhead, of the Royal College of Nursing Scotland, said: “While numbers of registered nurses are moving slowly upwards, Scotland has seen the lowest increase of the four nations.

“Staff shortages have been having an impact on patient care and the wellbeing of nurses and healthcare support workers long before the pandemic.

“With significant numbers of nursing posts vacant across health and care services, more must be done to retain current nursing staff and ensure nursing is well paid and meaningfully supported.

“Nursing staff deserve to be recognised for the complexity of skill and expertise they demonstrate every day and rewarded fairly for the job they do.”

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