A NEW campaign encouraging more people to pursue a career in nursing is being launched amid a record shortages of nurses and midwives.

The Scottish Government-funded initiative will raise awareness of the diversity of the profession with a national marketing campaign in cinemas, television, newspapers, radio, online and social media.

Nurses can work in GP practices, community clinics, people’s homes and schools as well as in hospitals and operating theatres.

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The Careers in Healthcare 'What did you do today?' campaign comes as new research shows nearly two thirds (65 per cent) of adults in Scotland view nursing in Scotland as a positive career choice.

Evidence from the survey, commissioned by the Scottish Government in partnership with YouGov, revealed 69% of 18-24 year olds view nursing positively, compared to 61% of 45-54 year olds.

However, the poll also found that 30% of people were not aware of how many different career paths are available to nurses.

In addition to nursing, the campaign will also pitch the advantages of training in midwifery, healthcare science or allied health professional roles such as radiographers, dietitians and paramedics.

It comes as the latest workforce statistics show that the vacancy rate for nursing and midwifery in Scotland is the highest in more than a decade, at 6.3%. More than 4000 posts are unfilled, with the rate having climbed steadily since 2010.

There is also a shortfall of nearly 600 allied health professionals.

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The new campaign uses case studies from people already working on the frontline, including a mental health nurse, medical physicist and 33-year-old care home nurse, Phumza Ncube, who originally from Zimbabwe.

Mr Ncude has worked in A&E, general medicine and surgery theatres and is now a staff nurse at Benore Care Home near Kirkcaldy, where he has been for 14 months.

He said: “I love my job and would highly recommend it as a career choice to young people, that’s why I was keen to be part of this campaign. You help people every day to live well, how amazing is that?

"I have such a positive impact on people in my job and in many cases save lives.

"I often say if you save one person, you’re a hero, and if you save 100 or more, you’re a nurse."

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Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said: “Trying to decide what career you will follow is both exciting and at times, a bit daunting.

"A career in healthcare is one of the most diverse and rewarding jobs a young person can pursue – and we want to support them.

“As well as an undergraduate bursary of £10,000 available for those choosing to study nursing or midwifery in 2020, a nursing, midwifery, allied health profession or healthcare science degree is highly valued, both here in Scotland and all over the world.

“Our dedicated NHS staff are the beating heart of our health service and it is vital that we help support the nurses, midwives and healthcare professionals of the future.”