Future of nursing in Wales

The future of nursing in Wales – what will it look like in 2024?

If you have children or grandchildren in primary school, there’s a good chance that the jobs they will do in the future haven’t even been invented yet. But have you ever wondered, in addition to what careers they might have, what your working future looks like – and how the shifting labour market could affect your role?

Currently, 15% of Wales’ working population is employed in human health and social work – that’s around 205,000 people. According to Careers Wales, nursing is the third biggest sector after retail and care work, with almost 34,500 nurses working in the principality. And, whilst no one can predict exactly what nursing in Wales will look like in years to come, there’s no doubt that nurses will be in demand more than ever before; Careers Wales expects that, by 2024, more than 21,500 additional nurses will be needed.

Our ageing population is one of the reasons for this, as is the UK’s rising obesity crisis, which is more evident in Wales than any other home nation. The latest National Survey for Wales shows that 59% of the population is overweight or obese, and that more children are obese in Wales – 11% – when they start primary school than in any other part of the country. These factors are placing enormous pressures on an already struggling NHS and, coupled with an increasing demand for mental health services, the need for more nurses is clear.

So, what does this mean for agency nurses in Wales? The Wales Centre for Public Policy’s ‘Future of Work in Wales’ report shows a shift in attitudes to work, as well as the emergence of more flexible patterns of working. Our agency nurses tell us time and again that they keenly want to stay within nursing but need more adaptable hours than staff roles often allow, in order to bring up young children, support teenagers or look after ageing parents. Some of our nurses want just one or two shifts each week, whilst others want full time hours yet with week-by-week flexibility.

The RCN last year reported a sharp drop in the number of student nurse applications, and recently called for the creation of an independent body to investigate serious patient safety cases as many nursing shifts continue to be staffed at below-recommended levels. As a result, it seems clear that the need for agency nurses will only rise as we approach 2024 and go beyond. That’s where we come in!

With more than 20 years’ experience working with health boards across Wales, Richmond Nursing Agency has become one of the leading specialist and general nursing and healthcare assistant agencies in Wales. An approved supplier under the All Wales Agency Framework, we have an in-depth understanding of how our staff and our clients work best, and are able to marry these needs in order to provide the best possible care for patients.

We are currently recruiting RGNs, RMNs, healthcare assistants and ODPs to join our team in the fields of ITU, A&E, CCU, MAU, mental health, theatre and general. To find out more about the many benefits our agency nurses enjoy, join us online or call 01554 756148 today.

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