Student nurses at breaking point – they need to be paid for placement
Labour Spokesperson on Further & Higher Education, Senator Annie Hoey, has written to Minister Harris and Minister Donnelly to request that student nurses are paid for their supernumerary placements.
Senator Hoey said:
“I have been contacted by student nurses who have expressed dismay that they have been instructed that they cannot take on part time work while they are doing their unpaid placement due to concerns around the public health situation.
“Many of these student nurses need to work part time in order to fund their unpaid placement. The fact that student nurses are not getting paid on the frontline to take care of very sick and vulnerable people during this global pandemic is unacceptable.
“I have had several nursing students contact me to say they do not know if they will be able to do that this year. There is no one in Ireland that doesn’t appreciate nurses, but a big bualadh bos means very little to struggling student nurses who may not be able to continue their placement due to the financial burden they have been placed under.
“I have written to the Minister for Higher Education and the Minister for Health to ask them to pay student nurses on supernumerary placement. In March of this year, Minister Harris announced that student nurses and midwives would be offered a Healthcare Assistant (HCA) contract and be paid for their work.
“Despite what was spun in the media at the time, student nurses and midwives have not and are not being paid for placement. Both Minister Donnelly and Minister Harris need to step in and rectify this immediately. Student nurses are at breaking point and cannot be put in a situation where they are forced to choose between continuing their studies and dropping out in order to support themselves financially.