• Nursing graduates, per 100 000 population (Line chart)
  • Nursing graduates, per 100 000 (Boxplot chart)
Data set notes
European database on human and technical resources for health

Indicators: 250
Updated: 23 September 2016
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HlthRes-DB provides a wide range of statistics on human and technical resources for health and offers data on non-monetary health care resources collected through the joint work of the Statistical Office of the European Union (Eurostat), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and WHO/Europe. It contains nearly 200 indicators on human and technical resources for health.

Human resources indicators: Indicators include the number and density of a wide range of health personnel (such as physicians, nurses, midwives, dentists, pharmacists and health care assistants), according to three different concepts (those practising, professionally active and licensed to practice). Information on employment in hospitals and numbers of medical and other graduates is also available.

Technical resources data: Data include the number and density of hospitals and hospital beds, stratified by ownership of facility (public, non-profit-making private and for-profit private), in addition to the number of beds for long-term care.

HlthRes-DB also contains indicators on the availability of the following medical equipment: computed tomography (CT) scanners, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) units, positron emission tomography (PET) scanners, gamma cameras, digital subtraction angiography units, mammographs, radiation therapy equipment and lithotriptors.

Coverage: HlthRes-DB contains data from the 53 Member States in the WHO European Region. To be updated yearly, usually in late summer, it is currently available in English and Russian.

More information: http://www.euro.who.int/en/data-and-evidence/databases/european-database-on-human-and-technical-resources-for-health-hlthres-db
Indicator notes
Nursing graduates, per 100 000 population
Indicator code: grad.nurs.rate This indicator shares the definition with the parent indicator "Nursing graduates, total number".

Number of students who have obtained a recognised qualification in nursing in a given year.
Inclusion
- Graduates from an education programme required to become a professional or associate professional nurse
Exclusion
- Graduates from other fields of studies which do not provide a recognised foundation for the practice of nursing
- Graduates from a midwifery programme
Country notes
Albania
Source: Ministry of High School.
Deviation from definition: Midwives graduates are included.
Armenia
Source of data: National Statistical Service (NSS) of Armenia, http://www.armstat.am/en/.
Reference period: The end of the school year.
Coverage: Graduates with foreign nationalities are not included. In 2012 the data on nurse graduates from 11 state and 11 private secondary medical schools are provided.
Break in time series: Until 2008 the data includes nurse graduates from state secondary medical schools. Since 2008, the data includes 11 state and 10 private secondary medical schools.
Note: A possible explanation for the sharp increase in 1998-1999 is the increase in admission to the nursing school. The decrease in the number of graduates-nurses in 2012 was due to reduction in the number of state-funded students in the state medical schools.
Austria
Source of data: Statistics Austria.
Coverage:
- excludes specific training ("Sonderausbildungen");
- excludes further education.
Azerbaijan
Source of data: The State Statistical Committee of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
Reference period: data as of December 31
Note: foreign graduates are included.
Belarus
Data source: Ministry of Health of the Republic of Belarus on the basis of statistical handbooks (1980 009gg.) And primary forms of non-centralized state statistical observations provided medical schools (1993 to 2011).
Belgium
Source of data: Communaute francaise et Vlaamse Gemeenschap.
Coverage:
- Data refer to graduates for the whole country in health care sciences at superior schools, students with Belgian nationality and foreign students.
- Graduates with Masters and PhD degrees in nursing are also included.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Source: Federal office of statistic
Bulgaria
Source of data: National Statistical Institute, Exhaustive annual survey
Reference period: from 15.11 of the previous year (t-1) to 14.11 of the index year (t). E.g. data for year 2010 contains number of graduates from 15.11.2009 to 14.11.2010.
Note: The specialties for medical doctors, dentists, pharmacists, midwives and nursing are taught in public higher schools. Ministry of Education and Science is determining annually plan scheme (limits for new entrants) for each specialty in public higher schools, which varies at different years according to national needs. Thus, the number of enrolments and respectively graduates are varying during the different years. The reported data represents the real number of graduations.
Break in time series:
- 2007: According to the national legislation in 2007 the length of training of nurses was increased by a year.
Croatia
Source of data: Ministry of Science, Education and Sports of the Republic of Croatia
Reference period: From the year 2008.data are provided by the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports. Data refers not on calendar, but on academic years. For example, registered data for the year 2008, refers to the 2007/2008 academic year (01.10.2007 – 30.09.2008)
Cyprus
Data not available.
Czechia
Source of data: Ministry of education, youth and sports.
Coverage:
- Until 1999: Graduates in auxiliary nurse, dietician, general nurse, paediatric nurse, intensive care nurse, psychiatric nurse and midwife educational programmes from upper secondary paramedical schools and tertiary paramedical schools are included. Graduates from universities are not included.
- Since 2000: Graduates in general nurse educational programmes from upper secondary paramedical schools and tertiary paramedical schools, graduates in the nursing bachelor programme of study (excluding midwifery field of study) and graduates in the nursing bachelor field of study (included in other programmes of study) from universities are included.
- Foreign graduates are included.
- In 2000, there were only 1602 nursing graduates, due to a preceding change in mandatory (basic/elementary) education from 8 to 9 years. As a result, there was only small number of graduates from basic school in 1996 followed by small number of graduates from the secondary/high schools (paramedical schools) in 2000.
- New legislation concerning non-medical health professions came into force in 2004 (Act no. 96/2004 Coll.) and influenced the data on graduates with a 2-4 year time delay. Medical assistants (first graduated in 2007 and classified under the code 3256 - Medical assistants in the new International Standard Classification of Occupations - ISCO-08), who are not included in the data on nursing graduates, have partly replaced nursing graduates. There were 592 medical assistant graduates reported in 2007, 3149 in 2008 and 2974 in 2009.
Denmark
Source of data: Statens Serum Institut, Register of Authorised Health Personnel.
Coverage: The number of new nurses receiving an authorisation.
Estonia
Source of data:
- State Statistical Office, annual reporting.
- Ministry of Education and Research.
Reference period: Given year.
Break in time series: 1999.
- In 1999 the length of time of the educational programme of nursing specialists was extended.
Finland
Source of data: VALVIRA; National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health. Registrar on Qualified Health Care Personnel, number of persons who have received their qualification in the calendar year.
Reference period: Calendar year.
France
Source of data: Ministere de la Sante et des Sports - Direction de la Recherche, des Etudes, de l'Evaluation et des Statistiques (DREES). Sous-Direction de l'Observation de la Sante et de l'Assurance maladie, Bureau des Professions de sante. Enquete “Ecoles de formation aux professions de la sante”. For further information:http://www.sante-sports.gouv.fr/IMG/pdf/seriestat178.pdf.
Coverage:
- Data come from statistics compiled from a survey carried out in training institutions for health professionals which estimates the number of degrees valid at the national level, in metropolitan France and overseas departments and territories.
- Nurses include state-licensed nurses (“infirmiers diplomes d’Etat”, IDE) and psychiatric nurses (ISP). In 1992, a law ended the separate courses for psychiatric nurses who have to do a 3-month internship to obtain the common single degree (“diplome unique”, IDE). In 1994, a decree granted a nursing degree (DEI) without any conditions to all psychiatric nurses (ISP) requesting it.
Georgia
Source of data: In 2012 – 2013 the National cemter for educational quality enhancement served as a data source. Reference period: 31 December.
Coverage: The provided data cover all regions except separatist regions, Abkhazia and South Osetia. Data for those two regions are unavailable.
Germany
Source of data: Federal Statistical Office, Statistics on Health schools, Statistics on vocational training; Statistisches Bundesamt, Fachserie 11, Reihe 2, table 4.3-BFS au?erhalb & 4.3-SdG; http://www.destatis.de.
Coverage:
- Passed examinations in nursing care.
- Professional nurses with a 3-year education and associate professional nurses with a 1-year education who passed their examinations are included (nurses, paediatric nurses and nurses for the elderly).
- Midwives are excluded.
- Data do not include graduates for the regional state of Hesse.
- Data are available from 1996 onwards.
Break in time series: As of reporting year 2012 a new classification of occupation (KldB-2010) has been introduced. Therefore the data are comparable only in a restricted manner to previous years.
Greece
Data not available.
Hungary
Source of data: Up to 2012: Hungarian Central Statistical Office on the basis of the data collection of the Ministry of Human Resources. From 2013: Office of Health Care Authorisation and Administrative Procedures Full title of the database: Basic register.
Reference period: 31st December.
Coverage:
- From 1990, data are provided for graduates in secondary vocational school and professional nursing education, in addition to college and bachelor level graduates in health care.
- Data on the professions of optometrists, dental technicians, pharmacy assistants, orthopaedic mechanics, medicinal gymnastics, medicinal massage, sports massage therapists and infant and child attendants are not included.
Iceland
Source of data: Statistics Iceland, Register of graduations.
Reference period: The calendar year.
Coverage: Students who have obtained a recognised qualification in nursing with education at the university level (professional nurses) and recognised qualification as associate nurse/practical nurse with education at the upper- secondary level (non-university).
Ireland
Source of data:
- 1999 onwards: Higher Education Authority.
- Up to 1998: An Bord Altranais (Nursing Board).
Reference period: Calendar year.
Coverage: Universities, Institutes of Technology and Designated Institutions.
Israel
Source of data: The data are based on the Nurses License Registry maintained by the Nursing Division and the Health Information Division in the Ministry of Health, for which the demographic information is periodically updated from the Population Registry at the Ministry of Interior.
Coverage: Data are for new licensed nurses who graduated in Israel.
- The policy of the Ministry of Health changed to reduce the number of associate professional nurses by not training new ones and re-training old ones as registered nurses.
Note: The statistical data for Israel are supplied by and under the responsibility of the relevant Israeli authorities. The use of such data by the OECD is without prejudice to the status of the Golan Heights, East Jerusalem and Israeli settlements in the West Bank under the terms of international law.
Italy
Source of data: Ministry of Education; “Survey on Graduates and Exams” carried out yearly by the Ministry by collecting data from Italian Universities (http://www.miur.it).
Reference period: Annual.
Break in time series:
- From 2002: Nurses graduated. Data from 2002 onwards refer to the new education system of nurses (to become a nurse it is necessary to get at least a 3-year university degree).
- 1997-2001: Nurses with university diploma. Data refer to the old education system of nurses (to become a nurse it was necessary to get a diploma at university level).
Kazakhstan
Source: Ministry of Health of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Data before 2007 show number of all mid medical personnel (medical assistants, midwives, nurses, health assistants, lab, x-ray and dental technicians) graduated in given year; from 2007 data include only number of graduated nurses.
Latvia
Source of data: Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) since 2008.
Coverage: The annual surveys collected and compiled by the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) are as follows: on higher education institutions and colleges. Graduates from college, bachelor and master programmes are included into the provided data (hence probability of double counting). Distinction between professional and associate nurses not possible in Latvia. Break in series:
- 2008: Change in data source
- 2010, 2011, 2013: The significant increase in nursing graduates is due to the fact that nurses have taken the opportunity to raise professional qualifications by completing Bachelor’s degree in Nursing programme. This programme was financed by the European Social Fund (ESF) and was free for the students.
Note: Source of data prior to 2008 not clear.
Lithuania
Source of data: Statistics Lithuania, data of entire annual survey of education institutions. Report “Health Statistics of Lithuania”, available from http://sic.hi.lt/html/en/hsl.htm.
Luxembourg
Source of data: Lycee technique of some health professions.
Coverage: Nurses with basic care only.
Malta
Source of data: University of Malta. 70% increase in number of nursing graduates in 2011 is a result of an increase in the intake of students for the nursing programme in the 2007 academic year. 2011 data was edited to include Mental Health Nursing graduates An increase in 2012 nursing graduates is a result of 2 cohorts graduating within the same year, since the nursing course was reduced from a 4 year course to a 3 year course.
Montenegro
Data not available.
Netherlands
Source of data: Statistics Netherlands, Statistics of education.
Coverage: The number includes nursing graduates in higher education (in Dutch: universiteit en HBO) and nursing graduates in senior vocational secondary education (in Dutch: MBO). The number of nursing graduates in higher education (in this case vocational colleges) is based on the “integrated higher education project”. In this project, Statistics Netherlands is working together with the Information Management Group (IBG), Higher Professional Education Council (HBO-Raad), Association of Dutch Universities (VSNU) and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW). The number of nursing graduates in senior vocational secondary education is based on data from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW).
Norway
Source of data: Statistics Norway.
- Statistics Norway collects student data from the administrative systems of the various tertiary institutions. The administrative systems in tertiary institutions create data files in the format specified by Statistics Norway. Information on completed doctoral degrees is collected from NIFU (http://www.nifustep.no/English/Pages/default.aspx).
- Tertiary graduation statistics include all individuals who have completed a degree of 2 years or longer from an educational institution classified by the Standard Industrial Classification as a tertiary institution. Registration of completed educational activities occurs during the period 1 October in year x, 30 September in year x+1.
- See http://www.ssb.no/english/subjects/04/02/40/eksuvh_en/ and then 'About the statistics'.
Coverage: Complete coverage as statistics are based on enumeration of graduates in tertiary education. Sampling errors and non-response errors do not exist.
Break in time series: Individually based data on completed education have been published annually since they were first collected in 1973/74 (academic year). Most variables are comparable, but some have changed. The revised Norwegian Standard Classification of Education (http://www.ssb.no/english/subjects/04/90/nos_c751_en/) recoded education courses to enable comparison of newer and older data (also including a recoding to ISCED-97). While education courses are reasonably comparable over time, other variables are not (e.g. coding of institution types).
Poland
Source of data:
- Until 1990: publication of Ministry of National Education, “Higher education, basic data”.
- From 1990: Central Statistical Office, reports S-10.
Coverage: Includes the number of graduates with first university level and master’s degree from nursing programme
Break in time series: 1990 due to change of data source.
Note: The education of nurses is now in a process of transformation, which means that traditional nursing schools were closed down and a new licence and master degree-based system is being established. This will allow the number of personnel with higher education to increase in these two occupational groups. Since 2003, Medical Universities have provided two types of studies for nurses: a 3-year licensing program and complementary studies for those who do not have the license. After graduating from these studies there is a possibility of a 2-year master’s degree. There is a concern about double counting of graduates in cases where a person first completes a bachelor’s degree and then a master’s degree. Each year universities give information about the number of graduates without identifying the people who continue their education in the second degree. As a result, these graduates are registered again two years later upon completion of their second degree. The last call for bridging studies had to be for the academic year 2010/11, although this was changed, between 2008 and 2010 greatly increased the number of nursing students: in 2008 there were 23 335, in 2009 - 25 578, in 2010 - 29 968 (as of 30.XI). Therefore, the number of nursing graduates is increased by 79% in year 2011.
Portugal
Source of data:
- Since 2011: Directorate General of Statistics of Education and Science, Ministry of Education and Science.
- Between 2006 and 2010: Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education.
- Up to 2005: Ministry of Education.
Coverage: Data represent the total number of graduates.
Break in time series: Break in 2002 due to change in Nursing Education in the end of the 1990's.
Republic of Moldova
Source of data: Ministry of Health of the Republic of Moldova, National Centre for Health Management, Annual statistical report N17 “On staff and cadres of health institutions”. http://cnms.md/areas/statistics/anyar/.
Reference period: Data as of December 31.
Coverage: Data exclude Transnistria.
Deviation from the definition: Foreign health personnel are not included.
Romania
Source of data: National Institute of Statistics, Activity of Education Units (Statistical data on tertiary education) – annual survey performed by NIS.
Reference period: academic year. Break in the series: 1996 (Since 1996 including private sector).
San Marino
Data not available.
Serbia
Data not available.
Slovakia
Source of data: National Health Information Center (submitted data are from the Institute of Information and Prognosis of Education, http://www.uips.sk).
Coverage:
- For the year 2005, the data for “Nursing graduates” were collected using the number of nursing graduates with a bachelor’s degree and the number of nursing graduates in higher specialised study, such as a diploma in nursing (i.e. post general certificate of education (GCE) study with qualification). Data were collected according to the OECD definition and according to the Slovak Act No.742/2004 on qualification for health care professions.
- Lower and higher level nursing professionals are included: nurses, medical rescuers, medical assistants. Excluded are nursing aids / hospital attendants. They do not have any recognized qualification in nursing.
Break in time series:
- There is a break in series because of changes within Slovak health education and training system. No nurse could graduate at paramedical schools (i.e. at secondary health care schools) in 2005. Students of paramedical schools could graduate as medical assistants in 2005. 1,103 medical assistants graduated in 2005.
Slovenia
Source of data: National Institute of Public Health, Slovenia, Health Statistics Yearbook.
Reference period: 31st December.
Spain
Source of data:
- Since 2011: Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports from University Education Statistic. http://www.mecd.gob.es/educacion-mecd/areas-educacion/universidades/estadisticas-informes/estadistic as/alumnado.html.
- Up to 2010: National Statistics Institute (INE). University Education Statistic. http://www.ine.es/jaxi/menu.do?type=pcaxis&path=%2Ft13%2Fp405&file=inebase&L=0.
Coverage:
- In 2011 there are the last students who completed studies for (old) three-year Diploma in Nursing [9.731 graduates] and the first ones who completed studies for (new) four-year Degree in Nursing (new degrees according to Bologna Plan) [1.923 graduates].
- In 2012 there are 4.550 graduates from the old Diploma in Nursing, and 3.644 graduates from the new Degree in Nursing.
Deviation from the definition: Data include midwife graduates.
Note: In 2008 the new university degrees in nursing (within the framework of Bologna process) began to be implemented. These new degrees have replaced the old diploma in nursing). The duration of the new degrees is four academic years (instead of three years for the former diploma. The increment of one academic year has implied the reduction of nursing graduates in 2012 because of those nurses that should have been graduated through the old diploma.
Sweden
Data not available.
Switzerland
Source of data: From 2007 onwards: FSO Federal Statistical Office, Neuchatel; graduation statistics; yearly census. Up to 2006: Swiss Red Cross, Bern.
Coverage: Since 2007, data cover professional and associate professional nursing graduates. Before 2007, the data did not include all “associate nurses” graduates.
Break in time series:
- 2007: change in data source and coverage (inclusion of associate nurses).
- 2009: inclusion of the graduates of Universities of applied sciences.
Tajikistan
The drop in 2003 was caused by re-organization of 2 nursing schools into colleges for nurses and extension of education time, i.e. no graduates from these colleges in 2003.

TFYR Macedonia
Source of data: State Statistical Office (SSO), Statistical Yearbook of the Republic of Macedonia
Reference period: 31st December
Note: significant increases in time series between 2005-2006 and 2007-2008 are due to commencing of new generations of graduated (university level) nurses from newly opened nursing programs and an introduction of a legal obligation requiring all employed nurses to complete their university education, thus increasing the number of students enrolling and graduating.
Turkey
Source of data: General Directorate for Health Services, Ministry of Health and ESPC Higher Education Statistics.
Coverage:
- Data refer to total number of nursing graduates of vocational high schools of health and universities.
- Nursing departments in vocational health high schools accepted an increasing number of nursing students until the mid-1990s in response to domestic needs. In the late 1990s, vocational health high schools started not to enroll any students in nursing section. However, in the early 2000s, a growing need for nurses came to the agenda again, and these vocational schools begun accepting more nursing students again, explaining the rise in the number of graduates since 2004. In 2005, the vocational health schools again started not to enroll any new students. However, in 2007, the vocational health schools accepted huge numbers of nursing students and gave huge number of graduates from 2010.
- In 2014, the data have been updated since 2001 because of ESPC Higher Education Statistics updates.
Note: ESPC Higher Education working on up-to-date data for these figures of 2013
Turkmenistan
Source of data: Ministry of Health and Medical Industry of Turkmenistan.
Note: division on Professional nurses and Associate professional nurses does not exist in Turkmenistan.
Ukraine
Source of data: Center of Health Statistics, Ministry of Health. Reporting Form 2-3NK "Report of higher education at the beginning of the school year."
Reference period: end of school year.
Note: a 43% decrease in number of nursing graduates in 2008 is associated with an extension of the period of study at the nursing departments of education. Medical assistants (feldshers) are included.
United Kingdom
Source of data: Nursing and Midwifery Council.
Reference period: Data from 2008 are for financial years, e.g. year 2009 data cover the period 1st April 2009 to 31st March 2010.
Estimation method: The actual number of nursing graduates is not available from 2008. Figures from 2008 are estimated based on the number of nurses newly registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (which is an essential requirement for working as a nurse in the United Kingdom), not on the number who graduated with a relevant qualification (the difference being that not all nurses who graduate necessarily come onto the register).
Break in time series: 2008.