a shortage of nurses in scotland is affecting patient safety, the royal college of nursing has warned.
figures from the nursing and midwifery council (nmc) show that the number of recruits fell last year, in contrast with an increase in england and wales.
rcn scotland has urged the scottish executive to reconsider reducing the number of student nurses.
delegates at a conference in glasgow were told that the situation "won't improve any time soon". statistics showed that there were 64,915 nurses and midwives registered in scotland.
about 2,200 nurses were recruited this year, compared to 2,537 in 1991.
speaking on the opening day of the nt live nursing exhibition at glasgow's secc, rcn scotland chair jane mccready said nurses across the country were concerned about patient safety.
"there are only 215 more nurses in scotland now than there were four years ago," she said.
full story: fresh warning over nurse shortage