The number of nursing applications to work in the UK have dropped by 96 per cent since Brexit, according to reports.
In July 2016, there were 1,304 registered nurses from the EU joining the Nursing and Midwifery Council register.
Almost a year later, in April of this year, just 46 nurses joined the register, totaling a drop of 96 per cent.
As a result, the union stated that it was 40,000 nurses short of requirement.
The drop could also be linked to the introduction of English language testing for EU nurses.
The figures were acquired by the Health Foundation under the Freedom of Information Act, covering the number that apply to go on the register.
Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth commented on the findings:
“Theresa May’s weak and unstable government has pushed NHS services to the brink, and it is patients who will pay the price.”
“Our health service has always relied on the contribution of overseas workers, yet these staff are being forced out by this government’s neglect and disregard.”
“The Tories are overseeing an unforgivable drain of talent out of our country, because of their chaotic attitude to the Brexit negotiations.”
The NHS announced in March a training programme for nurses that will help to increase the number of newly qualified nurses.
The target is to have over 2,000 new nurses in 2019, when the UK is set to leave the EU.
A Department of Health spokeswoman explained: “We understand the need to give valued NHS staff from the EU certainty, which is exactly why we have made clear that the future of those EU nationals working in our health and care system should be a priority in Brexit negotiations.
“We also have over 52,000 nurses in training to ensure the NHS has the nurses it needs.”
There are 650,000 nurses in total on the register, with 36,000 having been trained in the EU. Another 67,000 came from outside of the EU.