Retention of Nursing Students

Retention of Nursing Students

The Nursing Times reports that the number of applications to study nursing across the UK has fallen by almost 20% at the same time the numbers of nursing students leaving their degrees before graduation appear to have increased with some HEIs experiencing an attrition rate of up to 20%. Reasons for students dropping out are complex, but funding and upheaval of the COVID-19 pandemic are likely to be important. Between 2018 and 2022, 32% of leavers (42,756 nurses) were aged between 21 and 50 (NMC, 2022).

One student I have spoken to age 21, who started her training at the start of the pandemic reported having to deal with working on the front line and dealing with multiple deaths. The only thing she had managed to learn before going out to work in the hospital during the pandemic was effective handwashing and PPE nothing else. The moral distress of having to face that situation still stays with her today and she reports as having had no emotional support to enable her to make sense of this situation and feeling ill prepared to deal with being a Registered Nurse in less than 3 months’ time.  It is important that we support students with their health and wellbeing at the outset of their nursing journey so they are well equipped and supported to become our future nursing and midwifery workforce.

To solve these issues, we will require a collaborative approach from many organisations to listen, understand and co-design an effective solution which will support the future of the nursing workforce. The retention of our next generation of nurses requires a multiagency collaborative approach there is not one answer to solve this situation. ShinyMind will act as a catalyst to starting this debate so that they can understand the issues that matter to students and convert these issues into useful resources that will help form the new Student version of ShinyMind.          

What are we doing: 

ShinyMind is a mental health and wellbeing app co designed and co-created with the NHS and is evidence based and proven to empower users to take control over their health and wellbeing. The nursing version of the ShinyMind App was launched and gifted to Nurses, Midwives, HCSWs and Nursing Associates in the NHS in England on 17th November 2022 to download the app from our website follow the link our latest research show that 94% nurses using ShinyMind felt better.

Building on our co-creation of the nursing version, ShinyMind have an ambition to develop a student version of ShinyMind and are creating the space and time to have an important collaborative debate to help address and identify the challenges that lead to attrition. We are proud to create this space with The Florence Nightingale Foundation who are passionate about the importance of nurse and midwifery mental health and wellbeing. Jess Sainsbury Head of Nursing Engagement at FNF is also a member of ShinyMind Nursing Advisory Board. 

We are inviting anyone who has an interest in the future of the nursing workforce and how to solve student attrition to join us in a collaborative event to discuss the issues.

ShinyMind and Jess Sainsbury from The Florence Nightingale Foundation are hosting a Twitter Spaces discussion on 28th February 12-1pm. The session will cover the important issue of student nurse attrition and how we can work together to try to reduce this.

This discussion will be important to HEI providers, nursing, and midwifery students and TNAs, nursing & midwifery leaders, NHSE/ HEE colleagues and HR Directors.

Find out more about our current ShinyMind nursing version

Twitter Space event