The Nursing and Midwifery Council says no fewer than 10,639 Nigerian-trained nurses and midwives are currently practising in the United Kingdom.
The NMC register also showed that from April 1, 2022 to March 31, 2023, a total of 3,383 Nigerian-trained nurses and midwives were licensed to practise in the UK.
The Nursing and Midwifery Council is the regulator for nursing and midwifery professions in the UK. The NMC maintains a register of all nurses, midwives and specialist community public health nurses and nursing associates eligible to practise within the UK.
The Chief Executive and Registrar at the Nursing and Midwifery Council, Andrea Sutcliffe said, “At a time of rising demand for health and care services, it’s welcome news that our register has grown to a record level, due to an increase in domestically educated joiners together with the ongoing surge in international recruitment.
“These joiners are more ethnically diverse than ever. This matters because NHS research in England shows that Black and minority ethnic staff are more likely to experience harassment, bullying or abuse. There’s also clear evidence that discrimination impacts on the quality of care professionals give, leading to worse health outcomes for people.
“Therefore it’s more important than ever for employers to foster inclusive cultures, free of the racism and discrimination that profoundly affect people from minority ethnic communities.
“While recruitment remains strong, there are clear warnings about the workplace pressures driving people away from the professions. Many are leaving the register earlier than planned because of burnout or exhaustion, lack of support from colleagues, concerns about the quality of people’s care, workload and staffing levels.
“Our insight can support nursing and midwifery leaders across health and social care to focus on the right issues in their retention strategies. Addressing those issues must be a collaborative effort aimed at improving staff wellbeing and retention, for the benefit of everyone using services.”
The NMC report noted that the number of nurses, midwives and nursing associates registered to practise in the UK has grown to a record total of 788,638.
The council said the year 2022 to 2023 saw the highest number of new joiners to the register in a single year – more than 52,000. These include 27,142 new professionals educated in the UK and 25,006 professionals educated around the world, mainly outside Europe.
The number of people leaving the professions fell slightly last year to less than 27,000. However, there are concerns about the future retention of staff, with 52 per cent of professionals who left the register saying they did so earlier than planned.
The data showed that Nigeria has the third highest number of foreign nurses and midwives working in the UK after India and the Philippines.
The number of nurses and midwives from the Philippines in the UK is now 45,472, while the number of nurses and midwives from India practising in the UK is currently 48,395.