Over 600 student nurses were surveyed across the country and 564 (92.5%) said they have thought about emigrating once they qualify.
”If the vast majority of student nurses emigrate Ireland once they qualify, Ireland will be deporting essential skills, talent and finance,” said USI President, Kevin Donoghue.
“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,” he added.
With more than 1,000 nurses set to retire from the health service by next June, the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) General Secretary, Liam Doran, spoke about how the hospital overcrowding is affected by the lack of staff.
Mr Doran explained that while the INMO wants extra beds to be opened, the hospitals do not have the adequate staff to deal with the current number of beds and subseuqently can not open new beds without additional staff to service them.
“Many student nurses feel a better life awaits them abroad. 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,” Mr. Donoghue said.
“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,” he concluded.