The Nursing and Midwifery Council is calling on more nurses to help them with research on the diversity of the profession.
The regulator already gathers data on age and gender but from this year, it will also be collecting information about nurses and midwives’ ethnicity, disabilities, sexual orientation and religion or beliefs.
Over 6,000 nurses and midwives have so far filled out an NMC survey on their background.
NMC head of equality and diversity Natalie Salmon, said: “We’ve been delighted by the return rate so far. We’ve already had over 600 people filling out the form online and 5,500 return theirs by post.
“This is an excellent start but we really need to make sure that as many nurses as possible are included,” she added
“What we’re trying to achieve by asking these questions is a fuller understanding of whether there are disproportionate referrals to the Fitness to Practise process and whether different groups – from ethnic or religious minorities, for example – experience different outcomes from that process,” she said.
Joan Myers, the chief nursing officer for England’s equality and diversity lead, added: “It’s about identifying any worrying trends and doing something about them. That’s why it’s important to everybody.”