Reports suggest that there is an acute shortage of specialist nurses, particularly in A&E, critical care, theatres and intensive care.
According to specialist recruitment agency Hays, the nursing shortage is also starting to spread into other areas such as obstetrics, orthopaedics and anaesthetic departments.
But it reports that gynaecologist nurses and accident and emergency expertise are also highly sought after by the health service due to their short supply.
Simon Hudson, the new director of Hays Global Resourcing, said: ‘Without a doubt, there is a shortage of nurses in the UK.
‘The available talent from abroad throws an important lifeline given the pressing need for skilled nurses. Around 10% of nurses working in the UK have trained abroad and it is important that skills shortages in the healthcare sector continue to be addressed where possible, using labour from overseas where necessary.’
He said that the health sector has been able to use the global mobility of staff to fill vacancies, but there is now a global shortage of such specialists and demand exceeds supply.
Many nurses are also found to be leaving the UK to work abroad, attracted by a better lifestyle and more money.