Scotland faces nurse workforce crisis

A third of Scotland's community nurses could retire within the next ten years, RCN Scotland has warned.

Photograph: iStockphoto/Alexey Ivanov
Photograph: iStockphoto/Alexey Ivanov

In a report entitled Older... but wiser? the college warns that the Scottish health service will face a catastrophic shortage of nurses if it cannot persuade nurses to continue working after retirement age.

The RCN is calling on the Scottish Executive to join with employers, unions and nurses in a new forum set up to find a solution to the problem.

‘Research shows that over three quarters of nurses would consider delaying their retirement. But there is not enough information about what measures employers could take to encourage nurses to stay in the workforce longer,’ says RCN Scotland director Theresa Fyffe.

‘If we are to prevent a skills shortage in the future, work must begin now to address this and help retain the skills of older nurses.’

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