Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Full survey results: What do nurses think about the EU referendum?


Find out the full results of our survey of the views of the nursing profession on the European Union referendum.

Nursing Times surveyed 522 nurses during May and early June for our survey ahead of the national poll that will take place later this month.

The questions covered a range of issues including how nurses plan to vote in the referendum on 23 June, how they feel the final result will affect the NHS and whether they trust information from the official campaigns.

A big thank you to all our readers that took part in the survey.

Here are the full results from the survey, correct as of 10 June:


 How do you plan to vote in the EU referendum in June?  %
 To leave the EU  43%
 To remain in the EU  41%
 I haven’t made up my mind yet  14%
 I don’t plan to vote  1%


 Which eventual outcome do you think would be better for the nursing workforce, in terms of supply of staff to the UK health and care sector? %
 To leave the EU  28%
 To remain in the EU  42%
 No difference
 Don’t know  12%


 Which eventual outcome do you think would be better for the nursing workforce, in terms of employment rights and health and safety at work? %
 To leave the EU  29%
 To remain in the EU  44%
  No difference  19%
 Don’t know  8%


 Which eventual outcome do you think would be better for the NHS workforce, in terms of pay?  %
  To leave the EU  31%
 To remain in the EU  29%
 No difference  25%
 Don’t know  15%


 Which eventual outcome do you think would be better for NHS finances in future? %
 To leave the EU  46%
 To remain in the EU  29%
 No difference  11%
 Don’t know  14%


 Which official campaign group do you trust the most regarding information?  %
 Vote Leave  26%
 Britain Stronger In Europe  22%
 Neither  52%


Some organisations have declared their support in the referendum, while others have remained neutral. As well as the official campaign groups – Vote Leave and Britain Stronger in Europe – which types of organisation do you think should actively back one side or the other? %
 Political parties  11%
 Government arm’s length bodies  1%
 Trade unions  9%
 Professional organisations, for example medical royal colleges  9%
 National media and newspapers  2%
 Nursing and other trade media  8%
 None, except the official campaign groups  36%
 Don’t know  19%
 Other, please indicate  5%


 Please feel free to comment in more depth on the issue of the EU referendum Open question


 Which of the following best describes your role?       %
 Student nurse  22%
 Healthcare assistant  3%
 Staff nurse or equivalent  29%
 Practice nurse or district nurse  5%
 Health visitor or school nurse  1%
 Ward sister/charge nurse/team leader  11%
 Clinical nurse specialist/nurse practitioner  12%
 Matron or other senior nurse manager  5%
 Nurse educator/trainer or academic  9%
 Director of nursing/chief nurse or deputy  2%
 Midwife  1%


 Which of the following best describes the setting you work in?           %
 NHS acute hospital  40%
 NHS community services  14%
 NHS mental health services  8%
 GP surgery or healthcare centre  3%
 Nursing or care home  6%
 Private hospital or other independent sector setting  6%
 Charity/not-for-profit/social enterprise  4%
 Clinical commissioning group  2%
 University or academia  15%
 Government or other national agency  2%


 Which country do you work in?      %
 England  87%
 Northern Ireland  1%
 Scotland  4%
 Wales  5%
 Overseas  4%


How old are you?      %
 17-25  7%
 26-35  12%
 36-45  19%
 46-55  34%
 Over 55  27%

Readers' comments (2)

  • I think recruiting nurses from most of the EU did not solve NHS nursing shortage. If anything they spent a lot of money in recruiting and relocating expenses for them. Majority dI'd not complete the taster period of three months and due to longcase barrier it was frustrating to them making them leave . This was easy for them as they are within Europe. From past experience nurses recruited from India and Africa remained with their employer at lease for 5 years as they were bound by a work permit contract. I think we should go back to this instead of dwelling on the current failures.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Whether they have been recruited from within the EU or outside, the emphasis should be on the quality of the nurse and the care they are able to provide. I mean no disrespect but the standard of written English in the comment above is not what I would expect from a practicing, professional nurse and given that communication forms the basis of all relationships, including that of carer and patient, perhaps we need to focus less on where someone comes from and more on what they are able to offer.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.