A major recruitment campaign has been launched to increase the number of nurses on wards and in the community. Health Secretary Vaughan Gething said it was about “positively promoting” nursing as a job and Wales as a place to live and work. The Welsh Government also stressed student nursing bursaries would continue for another year for those who sign up to work for two years. The campaign has used real nurses to tell their stories. But around a quarter leave the profession or retire each year, according to the Royal College of Nursing (RCN). The shortage is a global one and the health service in Wales is competing with other countries. The international campaign will target newly-qualified and experienced nurses, as well as those considering returning to the profession. It follows a successful GP recruitment programme to bring junior doctors to Wales. Mr Gething added: “We know we need more nurses and it’s about how we go about doing that. ” He said unlike in England, the Welsh Government had made a choice to keep the bursary for student nurses for at least another year – worth up to £9,000 in grant and loans. It is available to those who commit in advance to taking up a job with NHS Wales for at least two years after qualifying. “Maintaining the nurse bursary at a time when it has gone in England is very powerful statement of the deliberate choice we’re making to continue investing in nursing,” Mr Gething said. “The extra numbers of nurse trainees we’ve announced in Wales, it’s much more significant than in Scotland and there’s a very different approach in England. “This really does show how Wales is positively different for a purpose – and the campaign is designed to make sure nurses come here, that they’re supported and enjoy their life here, not just in work but outside.” The Department of Health in England, where the bursary ended in 2016, would not comment on the Welsh announcement. The Scottish Government has also made a commitment to keep the bursary.