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Number of people applying to study adult nursing at University of Suffolk increases year-on-year



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The number of people applying to study adult nursing at the University of Suffolk has increased by around 25 per cent year-on-year, the latest data shows.

The NHS has been under intense strain this month and since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

The West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust announced an internal critical incident last week due to demand on services.

Dr Sam Chenery-Morris, head of nursing and midwifery at the University of Suffolk. All pictures: University of Suffolk.
Dr Sam Chenery-Morris, head of nursing and midwifery at the University of Suffolk. All pictures: University of Suffolk.

But according to Dr Sam Chenery-Morris, head of nursing and midwifery at the University of Suffolk, the number of applications for adult nursing increased 25 per cent in 2020-2021 from the previous year.

Dr Chenery-Morris, who has been in her role for around three years, said she did not find the statistics surprising.

She said: "The pandemic did bring out how good the NHS is and what it does for the nation."

University of Suffolk Waterfront Building. Picture by Mark Westley
University of Suffolk Waterfront Building. Picture by Mark Westley

"There is more media attention on how much the NHS supports society and how important it is as a national institution," she added.

"And it's in the media every day whereas three years ago it wasn't as much.

"That brings it to people's attention, and if they are working in their local community that helps them make the next step."

Dr Chenery-Morris said a lot of applications to study nursing or midwifery came from people who were shifting careers after losing jobs during the pandemic.

There has been an increase in the number of people applying for the adult nursing qualification at the University of Suffolk despite the NHS facing intense pressure over the last two years.
There has been an increase in the number of people applying for the adult nursing qualification at the University of Suffolk despite the NHS facing intense pressure over the last two years.

"People on furlough did support work, working on the vaccination drive and that's the sort of thing we are seeing on their application forms," she said.

"The number of applications is massive for this year," she added.

"They only opened in November and we could fill the cohort already with the applications that we have, and it's really early on in the application process."

The Government has pledged 50,000 new nurses across the NHS up until 2025, which Dr Chenery-Morris said would be helped by the number of applications the university was receiving.

Yet, she added words of caution, saying: "Yes, we are really optimistic and encouraging people to apply but none of them are easy professions.

"There are ebbs and flows."