Fewer school leavers sign up to study nursing at college

Photo: depositphotos

The number of school leavers becoming trainee nurses and care workers has slumped over the past two years, according to new figures from national statistics agency CBS.

In total, the number of trainees taking the MBO route fell 20% while the drop among nursing college students was 26%, the CBS said. And some 30% fewer school leavers signed up to train to be care workers. 

In 2023, some 9,000 people started an MBO nursing course and almost 7,000 began an HBO college nursing degree. But two years previously, the figures were 11,000 and 9,000. Fewer people also signed up to learn to become a care assistant – almost 7,000 last year compared with 10,000 two years earlier. 

The new figures show that the shortage of care workers is likely to worsen, despite the needs of the aging population. 

The CBS does not suggest what has caused the downturn but says the 2021 peak may have been due to coronavirus, when school leaving exam standards were relaxed, and the extra focus on the need for good nursing. 

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