full time whistle

Simon Harris commits to giving graduating Irish student nurses full-time contracts

Staffing and retention are two key issues that nearly led to industrial action in the nursing sector earlier this year.

British Irish Chamber of Commerce Simon Harris Sam Boal Sam Boal

STUDENT NURSES AND midwives in Ireland are to be offered full time contracts upon graduation says Minister for Health Simon Harris.

Addressing the annual delegate conference of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) today, Harris said that recruitment and retention for such graduating positions are an “absolute priority” for his department this year.

The minister outlined three commitments as part of this plan:

  • Delivering 1,208 additional permanent posts to the nursing and midwifery workforce this year
  • Converting agency staff into direct HSE employees
  • Offering all graduating students full time contracts

Harris said that the Department of Health will be “writing to each of those student nurses in the coming days to tell them this and outline the next steps”.

He said the HSE will have to report to him periodically regarding its progress in fulfilling those commitments.

“I wish to reaffirm once again my absolute commitment to the implementation of this agreement,” Harris said.

I have heard loud and clear from your union that we are only going to succeed if we attach the kind of priority to recruitment and retention that has never been seen before and that is exactly what we are doing.

“These are not just soothing political words. My statement of commitment is matched by an unprecedented direction to the HSE,” he added.

Staffing and retention was one of the chief bones of contention for nurses nationwide that brought workers to the brink of industrial action earlier this year.

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