NHS calls on A-level students to join the NHS

15 August 2019

As nearly half a million students get their A-level results today, NHS leaders in London are calling on young people to consider a career in nursing.

As nearly half a million students get their A-level results today, NHS leaders in London are calling on young people to consider a career in nursing.

The NHS has worked with universities to offer more than 7,000 extra nursing places in higher education from this September, as part of the NHS Long Term Plan to build a workforce for the future of the health service and supported by its successful ‘We are the NHS recruitment campaign’.

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. 

Tens of thousands of students will call the UCAS clearing line over the next few days to secure a place at a different university to the one they originally chose and in some cases, will change career paths.

More than 60,000 students secured a place through clearing last year and the NHS is urging people at a crossroads to join the health service.

As well as the nurses, a career in the NHS can then lead to roles including psychiatrist, lab technician, physio, paramedic, scientist, GP, surgeon, anaesthetist and over 300 more.

Jane Clegg, NHS London region joint chief nurse at NHS England and NHS Improvement, said: “My grandmother was a nurse and my father a doctor, so you could say I had good role models! Nursing is an immensely fulfilling career where every day will excite and challenge as you truly make a difference to the lives of people in need.

“Whether you’re receiving your exam results today—perhaps they were not what you expected—or you’re considering a change of career, the NHS in London offers a range of exciting roles where you will be truly welcome.”

The call on students to pick a career in the NHS comes as the NHS 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.

Launching last year, the campaign has resulted in a 4.5% increase in nursing applications, including a 9% rise in male nursing applicants as well as the number of 18-year-olds applying going up by a fifth.

The campaign will encourage those going through clearing to Search Nursing Careers to find out more about the huge opportunities offered in modern nursing.

Nikki Kanani, acting director of primary care for the NHS said: “Joining the NHS was the best career decision I ever made and every single day being part of this amazing community that makes incredible things happen gives me a sense of pride I couldn’t get working anywhere else.

“To all students considering their options I say this, the NHS is ready to welcome you into our community with open arms.”

The health service is also running programmes focussed on developing Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) staff and getting them into senior leadership positions, helping make sure that the NHS is increasingly representative of the wider community.

Yvonne Coghill, director of workforce race equality for the NHS said: “The NHS prides itself on being the most diverse organisation in the country. 

“We are lucky enough to have members of staff from all over the globe helping to make our NHS world class. We are very proud of the NHS and how it truly reflects the people we serve. No matter your background, when you join the NHS, you become part of the biggest and in my opinion the best organisation in the world.”