Words: Ellen Desmond
The Union of Students in Ireland today released new survey information showing that 93% of student nurses have considered emigrating when they finish college.
Over 600 student nurses were surveyed across the country and 564 (92.5%) stated that they have thought about emigrating when they qualify as a nurse.
”If the vast majority of student nurses emigrate Ireland once they qualify, Ireland will be deporting essential skills, talent and finance,” Kevin Donoghue, USI President, said. “It’s easy to see why so many student nurses have considered emigrating once they’re qualified. A lot of those who move to England to start their careers have their flights, first month’s accommodation and postgraduate paid for.”
More than 1,000 nurses are set to retire from the health service by next June. Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation General Secretary Liam Doran spoke about how the hospital overcrowding situation is affected by the amount of staff. Mr Doran said that the INMO wants extra beds to be opened but the hospital does not have adequate staff to deal with the current beds and cannot open the new beds without additional staff to service them.
“Many student nurses feel a better life awaits them abroad.” USI President Kevin Donoghue said. “Countries with a huge shortage of nurses such as England, America and Australia are actively recruiting Irish nurses – some are even offering them positions before they’ve finished their final year. If the Irish government fail to educate and maintain their health professionals, it risks repeating the mistakes of the 1990’s when past generations of newly qualified nurses had no option but to emigrate.”