The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) is supporting The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) in their protest outside the Dáil calling for the restoration of incremental credit for nurses and midwives who graduated between 2011 and 2015 on Tuesday the 27th September at 11:30am.
According to survey results released by the Union of Students in Ireland, who surveyed more than 600 student nurses across the country, 93% of student nurses have thought about emigrating when they qualify as a nurse. Of those who said they’ve thought about emigrating when they qualify, 36% say it’s because of the burnout, 44% said it’s because of the working hours; and 60% said it’s because of a lack of financial support. 80% feel voiceless as a nurse or midwife.
“USI is supporting the INMO in its protest, calling for the restoration of incremental credit for nurses and midwives who graduated between 2011 and 2015.” USI President, Annie Hoey, said. “There is already a national shortage of nurses in Ireland. If action isn’t taken by the government to restore the incremental credit, we risk exporting vital medical skills.”
At the end of 2015, the HSE and the Department of Health agreed that restored monetary recognition for the 36 week Nursing/Midwifery Internship from 2011 onwards. However, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DEPER) subsequently amended part of the agreement, and only sanctioned recognition for 2016 graduates onwards. This means that 2011-2015 nursing and midwifery graduates are left in a position where they will be earning less than their colleagues (pre-2011) who were automatically awarded the credit. This is a loss of over €1,400 for 2011-2013 graduates and over €1,000 for 2014-2015 graduates.
According to the USI research, 95% of student nurses said working as a nurse or midwife is extremely stressful. 57% of nurses said that placement had a negative impact on their physical health, while 52% said it had a negative impact on their mental health.