Key points

  • The Health Foundation's REAL Centre commissioned Decision Analysis Services Ltd (DAS) to produce a model that can be used to develop supply projections of the nursing workforce in England with a time horizon of 5 to 20 years.

  • This working paper summarises research on economic factors that affect nurses’ labour market participation decisions. It discusses how this research can be applied to the nurse supply model. It also identifies the key areas where the research evidence is lacking, or not directly applicable to England.

The Health Foundation's REAL Centre commissioned Decision Analysis Services Ltd (DAS) to develop a comprehensive model of nurse supply. The model will provide projections of the future nursing workforce supply in England under alternative policy scenarios over a 5 to 20 year time frame.

As part of the development of the model a significant amount of research has been undertaken into the economic factors that affect the decision to become a nurse and subsequent participation in the nurse labour market. This working paper summarises this research and discusses how the findings might be operationalised within the quantitative simulation model. It sets out evidence on:

  • how economic factors affect the nurse education market
  • the impact of economic factors on the labour market for qualified nurses.

This evidence has been used to generate a set of 13 core economic factors:

  1. Cost of undertaking a nursing degree
  2. Awareness of difficulty of a nursing degree
  3. Awareness of workplace expectations
  4. Nurse education quality and effectiveness
  5. Quality of degree students
  6. Nurse pay awards
  7. Financial returns of working as a nurse
  8. Nurse satisfaction
  9. Role flexibility
  10. Workload
  11. Cost of return to practice
  12. Economic conditions
  13. Nurse workforce supply gap

The evidence to support the impact of each factor on nurse supply has been assessed alongside a consideration of the potential magnitude and timing of the impact. This is used to identify priorities for future research.

The nurse supply model has been delivered by DAS and is now being used by the REAL Centre to develop supply projections of the nursing workforce in England with a time horizon of 5 to 20 years. To find out more about the model visit the nurse supply model project page.

Cite this publication

Derbyshire K, Cave S, Woodham E, Wildblood R, Shembavnekar N. Nurse supply model: a review of economic factors affecting nurse supply. 2021.

Further reading

Report

Building the NHS nursing workforce in England

December 2020
Report

The current shortfall of nurses represents a major long-term and growing problem for the NHS. This...

REAL Centre

Working paper

Nurse supply model: overview

December 2021
Working paper

This working paper provides an overview of the context for nurse supply in England and the various...

REAL Centre

Working paper

Nurse supply model: exploring the impact of COVID-19

March 2021
Working paper

This working paper explores the potential impact of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic on the...

REAL Centre

Working paper

Nurse supply model: progress so far

December 2020
Working paper

The Health Foundation's REAL Centre commissioned DAS to produce a model that can be used to develop...

REAL Centre

Project

Nurse supply model

Project

This project aims to enable projections of the future nursing workforce supply in England under...

REAL Centre

Keep in touch

Sign up to get the latest news and updates from the REAL Centre straight to your inbox.

You might also like...

Event

Webinar: What does the future look like for the general practice workforce?

Event

In this webinar, we will explore the REAL Centre’s upcoming report on updated NHS workforce supply...

Register

Press release

More than a quarter of GP and general practice nursing posts could be vacant in 10 years

Press release

Analysis from the Health Foundation’s REAL Centre warns that without urgent, significant policy...

Press release

Plan for Digital Health and Social Care contains important ambitions, but tackling workforce and capacity pressures will be the key to realising the vision

Press release

Health Foundation response to the publication of the government’s Plan for Digital Health and Social...

Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101 copy

Get social

Thank you to everyone who came to see us at #LGAConf22! Here’s a recap of some of our resources: 🧱 How local gove… https://t.co/CyLLGzVzAh

Follow us on Twitter
Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101

Work with us

We look for talented and passionate individuals as everyone at the Health Foundation has an important role to play.

View current vacancies
Artboard 101 copy 2

The Q community

Q is an initiative connecting people with improvement expertise across the UK.

Find out more