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Chamber and committees

Question ref. S6W-02970

Date lodged: 14 September 2021


To ask the Scottish Government what planning it is undertaking to ensure that there are sufficient nurses with the right competencies and skills to fill vacant specialist roles as they arise.

Current status: Answered by Humza Yousaf on 12 October 2021


Over nine consecutive years, qualified nursing numbers have grown and we have also steadily increased places on undergraduate nursing courses. Ahead of each academic year, the Scottish Government undertakes a robust student intake planning process which seeks to estimate the levels of student intake necessary to service Scotland’s nursing workforce requirements in future years. At the conclusion of each year’s process, recommended target intake figures are agreed across four fields of nursing: adult, mental health, learning disability, and children’s nursing. This allows us to ensure there are sufficient nurses entering the healthcare system who specialise in each field of nursing each year.

The Scottish Government is also committed to the growth of advanced nursing practice, which is why in 2017 we committed £3m investment over 5 years to train an additional 500 advanced nurse practitioners. In April 2021, the Scottish Government published a paper setting out key areas for further expansion of advanced nursing practice. The paper can be found at the link below: