Total of 81,431 nurses and midwives on register

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There were 81,431 nurses and midwives on The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI) Register, on June 1, 2022, according to latest data provided by NMBI.

A total of 75,871 self-declared as currently practising and of these 66,471 stated they were patient-facing in their role. 

The report also revealed that more than 90 per cent (68,310)of all nurses and midwives registered in Ireland were women, while the majority of new registrants in the past year came from overseas, outside the EU.

This data is provided by NMBI as information for policymakers and the public, and to inform workforce planning models.

The 12 months from June 1, 2021 to  May 31, 2022 saw a total of 4,937 applicants joining the Register, with 1,555 of these qualified in Ireland, 3,021 from outside of the EU and 361 from EU-based applicants.

The top overseas countries for new registrants were India (2,364), Philippines (391), United Kingdom (250)1 and Zimbabwe (132) 

Trends also indicated that the number of Irish-educated registrants was continuing to increase, with numbers from 2021, the highest since this element was first reported on in 2015, with an expected 1,800 Irish-educated nurses and midwives due to join the NMBI Register later this year.

A breakdown of registrant numbers across age brackets indicates that 55,106, or 67.7%, of practising nurses and midwives are under the age of 50, while 2,900 or 3.6% are above the age of 65. 

The report also provides a breakdown of registrants across practice areas: 

  • General nursing continues to be the most common area of practice, with 54,797 active nurses working in this area. 
  • The second highest number of nurses practising are psychiatric nurses (7,377). 
  • There are 3,999 practising intellectual disability nurses and 3,371 practising children’s nurses.
  • Despite there being 9,661 midwives on the Register, 4,561 (47.2%) of these are practising. However, it is important to note that many of those registered as midwives are also registered and working in nursing divisions of the Register and the number of practising midwives increased in the past year.

Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly TD said,“This is a very welcome publication and a testament to the progress NMBI has made in digitising the Register of nurses and midwives. This data will be extremely beneficial for policy makers and those involved in workforce planning for the future of nursing and midwifery.”

The Chief Nursing Officer, at the Department of Health, Rachel Kenna said, “As a country we need to ensure that we are planning appropriately and effectively for the future of our health sector and the professions of nursing and midwifery. This publication provides us with reliable data on the nursing and midwifery resources that are available, including the core demographic details. This information is essential when we are engaged in evidence-based workforce planning.”

The President of NMBI, Essene Cassidy said: “As President of the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI) I am delighted that the Board is publishing its first ever ‘State of the Register 2022’. This publication, which will now be issued annually, has been made possible by the digitisation of the annual renewal process.

“On behalf of the Board, I want to sincerely thank our registered nurses and our registered midwives for their engagement with the online renewal in 2020 and again in 2021. The information our registrants provided has made this publication possible.”

NMBI CEO, Sheila McClelland said: “The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland is pleased to publish this report as it offers a comprehensive overview of the nursing and midwifery professions in Ireland. Nurses and midwives play a vital role in providing primary and critical healthcare, and our role in NMBI is to ensure that the care they provide is of a consistently high standard through education, registration and regulation.

“This report provides key insights for policy makers and workforce planners. These insights will also be used by NMBI in planning future education and regulation initiatives.”