THE NHS is “haemorrhaging” nurses with one in 10 leaving the NHS in England each year, figures show.
More than 33,000 walked away last year, piling pressure on understaffed hospital wards and community services.
The figures – provided to the BBC by NHS Digital – represent a rise of 20% since 2012-13, and mean there are now more leavers than joiners.
Nurse leaders said it was a “dangerous and downward spiral”, but NHS bosses said the problem was being tackled.
The figures have been compiled as part of an in-depth look at nursing by the BBC.
More than 10% of the nursing workforce have left NHS employment in each of the past three years
The number of leavers would be enough to staff more than 20 average-sized hospital trusts
More than half of those who walked away in the last year were under the age of 40
Leavers outnumbered joiners by 3,000 last year, the biggest gap over the five-year period examined by the BBC
Brexit may have had an impact – the number of EU nurses leaving has trebled since 2012-13 to nearly 4,000 last year
The number of joiners has halved since the EU referendum – 2,800 started NHS jobs last year
Nurses are being pulled off research work, special projects and admin roles to plug the gaps