#StudyNursingLondon inspires young people to study nursing

London Higher is the voice of higher education in London, representing over 50 higher education institutions across our capital city. Every year London’s higher education sector generates £27bn of economic impact across the UK economy, undertakes innovative research and helps local communities thrive.

London Higher helps showcase the achievements of London higher education, while meeting the challenges our institutions face as a trusted, non-partisan, professional partner and advocate.

London Higher’s Healthcare Education Group brings together strategic leads from higher education institutions providing nursing, midwifery and applied health profession (AHP) courses in London. The group meets regularly to support and collaborate across London.

One example of this is the work undertaken in 2023 when London Higher launched the #StudyNursingLondon, a campaign to inspire and empower young people up and down the UK to embark on study for nursing careers in the capital city.

The NHS Workforce Plan set out ambitious targets including increasing adult nursing trainee numbers by 92% by 2030. London has the most acute nurse shortage, with 10,627 vacancies cited in March 2023 – an 11% increase compared to 2022.

London universities offer over 115 nursing courses in four main areas – adult nursing, child nursing, mental health nursing, and learning disability nursing, which the campaign showcases through student stories.

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Telling student stories

Our campaign put the stories of students front and centre. Keresha, a mental health nursing student at the University of Greenwich told us about her most rewarding moments. “I’m working with a patient and I’m seeing them at their worst. Then to see that patient at their best or at their baseline. That gives me the most joy, in just knowing I’ve made an impact in somebody’s life.”

Kingston University London student Christopher told us why he chose to study adult nursing. “I wanted to make a tangible difference to the community that I live in, and I wanted a career that I could be really proud of.”

Jo-Jo, a children’s nursing student at the University of Greenwich told us about her placement. “You’re not just sitting back watching. You are part of the team, you are actively participating in a placement, you are actively helping.

Yaa, an adult nursing student at the University of East London talked about overcoming obstacles to study nursing. “Nursing is a profession. It’s also part of you – you either care or you don’t care. And that’s what nursing is about. You have to have the heart for it. If you do, don’t allow fear to stop you. Don’t allow your inner voice to tell you that you can’t do it. You can. I’ve got a learning disability and that was one of the things that was going to stop me. But I made sure if nursing is for me, I was pushing through it and now I’m here.”

How can I get involved in the #StudyNursingLondon campaign?

We can’t do this without your help! Whether you are a higher education institution with a nursing school in London, or you wish to support the campaign as a sector organisation, mission group or other UK university, you can see more information on our website. The campaign will be expanding in 2024 to include other allied health professions.

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Support for the campaign

Our campaign has received the support of leading healthcare and education figures. Robert Halfon, government minister for skills, apprenticeships and higher education said “It is great that London Higher is encouraging more people to pursue nursing degrees, and I urge anyone interested to consider studying in London.

“A degree is not the only way into a successful medical career – there are nursing degree apprenticeships available, which enable people to earn while they learn and gain valuable on-the-job experience. This means people of all ages and backgrounds can climb the ladder of opportunity to a rewarding nursing career.”

Michael Wood, head of health economic partnerships at the NHS Confederation has also supported the campaign, writing “Nursing lies at the heart of healthcare and we should all support the #StudyNursingLondon campaign. By working together, we can support young people from all London’s diverse communities to come into the NHS, changing people’s lives, improving the city’s healthcare services, and leading a hugely rewarding career.”

We’re also proud to have the support of Jane Clegg, regional chief nurse in London for NHS England who said “Choosing to study and work in London as a nurse or midwife is a smart choice. You’ll have access to an amazing range of universities and health and social care in a global city. London’s nurses and midwives are fully signed up to #StudyNursingLondon and we look forward to welcoming you!”

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