Nursing and Midwife Opportunities in Demand.
This week saw the release of disappointing figures illustrating just how difficult it has been for the Irish Government to fill nursing and midwife positions in Irish hospitals. According to The Irish Nurse and Midwives Organisation (INMO), there are now around 630 vacancies for nurses and midwives in Irish public hospitals alone. This may not come as a surprise in some quarters, but it has resulted in the Irish government offering full-time employment to all graduating nurses from this autumn.
International opportunities a threat.
While this offer might seem to be the ideal solution to the demands currently placed on the Irish public healthcare sector, in fact, it may not be enough to solve the recruitment problems Irish hospitals now face. Last April, for example, saw health employers from the UK, Singapore and Australia compete to attract Irish nurses at a health care expo in Dublin’s RDS. This demonstrates the current level of competition in the sector and is perhaps most ably illustrated by the Irish government’s attempts to attract nurses back to the HSE from abroad last year. A target of 500 job posts was created but according to The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, only 90 vacancies were initially filled. That figure has now been reduced again to 45 as half of the nurses originally employed have since left Irish posts and returned to positions abroad.
Attractive packages will entice more applicants.
Outside of the public healthcare system nursing graduates will also have the enticement of attractive packages from the private sector. In many circumstances, the appeal will include location, flexible working hour’s as well subsidised accommodation. If we also consider more attractive tax conditions and lifestyle factors such as climate to a prospective employer’s package, then the competition for nursing graduates will become even harder for the public sector to compete with. It is estimated that roughly 800 Irish nurses will retire this year alone which will create even more opportunities not only for new graduates but for experienced nurses and midwives to move into positions currently held by long-term and specialised staff.
There will certainly be huge competition for nurses and midwives after graduation this autumn.