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Just 84 applications for graduate nursing scheme processed

The INMO said the low numbers were a testament to the effectiveness of its boycott of the scheme.

Student nurses at a protest against the scheme earlier this month.
Student nurses at a protest against the scheme earlier this month.
Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

JUST 84 APPLICATIONS for the graduate nursing scheme have been processed, Minister for Health James Reilly has revealed.

In response to a parliamentary question on Tuesday, Reilly said that the initiative, which offers 1,000 positions at a reduced rate of pay, was introduced on the basis of a phased intake over several months.

Industrial Relations Officer at the Irish Nurses and Midwives Association (INMO) Edward Matthews told TheJournal.ie today that it is confident that the low numbers applying for the jobs “are a testament to the effectiveness of the boycott”.

Ireland is in recession. People are crying out for work, but to under-value oneself now is to undervalue oneself for ever more. Nurses have worked hard for their degrees. They have done their unpaid work placements and their internships. They are fully qualified, registered nurses, who have all the responsibilities of any other nurse. To take contracts at this inappropriate rate of pay, with all the responsibility, is to undervalue their time and commitment and the degree course to which they applied themselves.

Reilly said the HSE will “continue to accept applications on an ongoing basis” and a second phase, which will cover mental health, intellectual disability, midwifery and paediatrics, will launch in the coming days. There will also be opportunities for those who graduate in 2013 to participate in due course.

Related: HSE cancels deadline, opens nurse graduate scheme on a ‘rolling basis’>
Read: INMO reaffirms “total opposition” to Croke Park pay cuts>

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