Pandemic 'inspires student nurses', says England's top nurse

Ruth May, the NHS chief nursing officer, said staff bravery during the pandemic “no doubt” inspired the new uptake. She added: “If you are a student thinking about your next steps, please consider applying to study nursing through clearing. It is one of the most employable degrees around and probably the most rewarding career in the world.”

It was the life-changing choice Chelsea Fawcett made five years ago.

Having originally studied English literature at university, Chelsea, 30, applied again, through clearing, as a mature student while working as a receptionist in a mental health clinic.

She said: “I knew I’d made the right choice as I felt excited to go to every class and placement. I realised I’d found my ‘thing’ and that I’d never look back.”

The health team at Tees Esk and Wear Valley NHS Foundation Trust added: “I love feeling like I am making a difference and I’m proud of what I do.”

At least two A-Levels or equivalent are usually required to embark on a nursing degree course.