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European Union nurse applicants drop by 96 percent since Brexit vote

Wavebreak Media/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- There has been a “sharp drop” in nurses registering to work in the U.K. since the Brexit referendum, according to the BBC.  

The Nursing and Midwifery Council saw only 46 registrations in April this year, compared to more than 1,300 last July, a fall of 96 percent.

Overall, there are 650,000 nurses on the register; 36,000 of these have been trained in the E.U.

The council said the introduction of English language testing in January 2016 for nurses may have played a role in the decline, but the Health Foundation, a British charity that funds health care research, said these findings should act as a “wake-up call,” according to the BBC.

Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth told the BBC that the "unstable" circumstances surrounding Brexit are causing a "drain of talent" out of the U.K.

This comes as the National Health Service struggles with vacancies in the nursing industry. In May, the Royal College of Nursing said one in nine posts in England was vacant, adding up to a shortage of 40,000 nurses, the BBC reported.

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