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Covid driving record numbers in England to become nurses

The Covid pandemic has inspired record numbers of people to become nurses, with more than 56,000 signing up to nursing courses or apprenticeships in England since the outbreak in early 2020, according to a report.

Figures from the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (Ucas) show that more 18-year-old school leavers are applying for and accepting places to study nursing than before the pandemic, with applications up by 38% since 2019, while applications from those over the age of 21 have also risen by more than a third.

The report by Ucas and Health Education England found that 69% of recent applicants said the Covid pandemic had inspired them to apply to become a nurse, with around one in 10 saying the pandemic was the most important factor in their decision. One in four applicants said the current high profile of healthcare workers was a significant influence on their decision.

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