Written evidence submitted by RCN Scotland (COR0023)


Scottish Affairs Committee Inquiry: Coronavirus and Scotland

Additional information from RCN Scotland


Immigration and health and care workers

Freedom of movement

Future immigration system

Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS)

Shortage occupation list


RCN members share their experiences of nursing during the pandemic

In August, we published the results from our UK-wide Building a Better Future for Nursing, member survey which captured nearly 42,000 nursing staff’s experiences of working during the pandemic.

Over 3,800 nursing staff in Scotland responded to this survey and their responses reflect the picture across the UK. Some of the key findings from Scotland are highlighted below.


The survey also revealed a sharp rise in the proportion of nursing staff considering quitting the profession. Across the UK more than a third of respondents (36%) are thinking of leaving nursing, compared to 27% in 2019.

When asked what they would like to see done to make them feel more valued, respondents were clear that pay and staffing levels were top of their agenda:

Nursing staff across the country have stepped forward to meet the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. Their work is fundamental to caring for patients and protecting our health and care services, but this commitment to excellence in clinical practice has taken its toll. We know that staffing levels and the lack of recognition of nursing staff’s contribution were already issues before the pandemic. We are looking for the governments of the UK to help our existing workforce and ensure that nursing is attractive, well-paid and meaningfully supported.

The pandemic it not over, but unless nursing is attractive, well-paid and meaningfully supported, we risk many of our members leaving the profession – at a time when the country needs them more than ever.

September 2020

[i] Nursing and Midwifery Council, ‘Registration Statistics’, 2019. Available at: https://www.nmc.org.uk/about-us/reports-and-accounts/registration-statistics/