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:
Cost of undertaking a nursing degree
Awareness of difficulty of a nursing degree
Awareness of workplace expectations
Nurse education quality and effectiveness
Quality of degree students
Nurse pay awards
Financial returns of working as a nurse
Cost of return to practice
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.