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Nursing and Midwifery


NHS National Services Scotland ISD Scotland & NHS National Services Scotland

Nursing and Midwifery

This section provides information on the nursing and midwifery workforce in NHS Scotland.

  • Further information on the staff groups presented in this section can be found hereDownload PDF file [37Kb]
  • Information on conditions used to extract our data can be found in our variables guide here Download Excel file[20KB].

Staff in post data is presented by band, band grouping, age group, gender, contract type, NHS Board and region and location of service delivery.

Throughout, information is shown as headcount, or whole time equivalent (WTE). WTE adjusts headcount staff figures to take account of part-time staff. Definitions of these terms can be found here Download PDF file [110Kb].

Health Visitors

ISD were asked by the Scottish Government to review the current published number of health visitors (AfC B6 and above) in post as at 31 March 2014. This is to allow the recruitment of additional health visitors to be monitored (500 posts announced in June 2014).

Published data at March 2014 falls before a data cleansing exercise covering all community nursing staff (including health visitors) and it is noted in the workforce publication that data published before March 2015 cannot be compared to data published afterwards.

Data from March 2015 has been used to produce a range of how many health visitors were in post in March 2014 (Scotland level only). The methodology is explained in more detail in this paper Download PDF file [200Kb].

The outcome of this work is that ISD now estimate that the Whole Time Equivalent (WTE) number of health visitors in post at 31 March 2014 was between 1,047.9 (lower estimate) and 1,114.7 (higher estimate). This estimated range is higher than the published figure of 997.6 WTE.

Clinical nurse specialists

A clinical nurse specialist is a registered nursing professional who has acquired additional knowledge, skills and experience, together with a professionally and/or academically accredited post-registration qualification (if available) in a clinical specialty. They practice at an advanced level and may have sole responsibility for care episode or defined client/group.


Data for all Scottish nursing and midwifery programmes leading to registration or recording with the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) is submitted to the NHS Education for Scotland (NES) Records Team from universities in Scotland when a student commences, discontinues from or completes a programme in Scotland. This information is published by ISD on behalf of NES each November.

Available data

  • Latest available data can be found here
  • Data from 2007 - 2016 can be found here
  • Data from 1996 - 2006 can be found here

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