The Royal College of Nursing puts current nurse turnover at 21 per cent (compared with 14 per cent in 1987 and 12 per cent in 1992 )

Office of Manpower Economics data says turnover is highest in North Thames region (20 per cent) and lowest in Scotland (five per cent). In inner London it is 26 per cent

The RCN estimates that the NHS is 8,000 nurses short

A survey of 74,000 agency nurses found 12,000 wanted a permanent job but couldn't find one that suited their family commitments

The Audit Commission calculates it costs a total of pounds5,000 to recruit a nurse

Nine out of 10 trusts surveyed by Income Data Services said they had experienced recruitment problems

A quarter of registered nurses are eligible for retirement by the year 2000

New entries to the register have fallen from 19,863 in 1994-95 to 19,632 for 1995-96

In a Unison survey of 1,300 nurses, 89 per cent reported an increase in workload, pressure and stress levels

The government has allocated pounds20.5m for an extra 1,300 student places

pounds10.4m this year has been targeted by the DoH at nurse retention and return-to-practice initiatives