The average nursing and midwifery role advertised in the NHS is only drawing three applications, new figures show.
Experimental statistics from NHS Digital show that there were 30,613 advertisements for vacancies for full-time positions published in England in March 2017 - a rise from 26,424 in 2016 and 26,406 in 2015.
Of these, 38% of vacancies were for registered nurses or midwives.
Overall between January 2017 and the end of March 2017, there were 86,035 advertised vacancy full-time equivalents in England.
The data - collected from NHS Jobs, the main recruitment website for the NHS - also shows how many people applied for each role.
Between October 1 2016 and December 31 2016, a total of 81,674 vacancies were advertised with an average of 10 applications per role.
During this period, 31,197 nursing or midwifery positions were advertised gaining an average of three applications per role.
Figures for the same period in 2015 show that 28,713 nursing or midwifery positions were advertised, earning an average of four applications for each role.
NHS Digital said the figures should be treated with caution as a job advertisement can be used to fill one vacancy, multiple vacancies or an ongoing recruitment programme.
Commenting on the figures, Dr Mark Holland, president of the Society for Acute Medicine, said the removal of the Government's 1% cap on public sector pay rises was long overdue.
He said: "Removing the pay cap on NHS staff, particularly the lowest paid, is long overdue, while the extra pressure on overworked frontline staff to meet targets must be eased.
"This data shows it is high time we saw steps taken to stop disincentivising staff - salaries must be fair, working conditions must be safe and sustainable and clear career pathways must be in place."
Separate figures from the NHS statistical authority show that the total NHS workforce went up by 1.9% when comparing figures from April 2017 and April 2016.
The headcount was 1,186,420 in April 2017 - 22,547 more than in April 2016.
In April this year there were 318,796 nurses and health visitors and 26,060 midwives.
This compares with 318,804 nurses and health visitors and 25,882 midwives in April 2016.