INMO clarifies misleading HEA headline
The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) wishes to clarify misleading headline regarding nursing/midwifery graduates in a press release issued yesterday by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) where they state that the “vast majority of nursing graduates now remain in Ireland”.
In the study the HEA defined nursing as “nursing refers to all courses under the broad discipline of nursing and midwifery from 2014/15 onward and nursing and caring up to and including 2013/14.” Caring is a very broad definition and would not refer specifically to nursing therefore the figures of undergraduates in 2011 of 2,202 exceed the nursing undergraduate figure by 802 and likewise for 2012,13 and14. Also, the definition in this study, of nursing graduates, includes both undergraduates and post graduates, therefore those undertaking education while employed are included in the results. Customarily this group, are in employment whilst obtaining the post graduate education and continue in employment post attainment of postgraduate education, and responded as such to this survey.
In relation to the statistics provided, the data was collected from 6 of the 13 Schools of Nursing and Midwifery. This excluded more than half of the third level institutions providing undergraduate nursing education.
The survey shows employment statistics for 9 months after graduation. However, this is totally inaccurate in the case of undergraduates as we are aware that undergraduates of 2015 emigrated in their masses to the UK. It was not until 2016 that some new undergraduates were offered permanent posts. Many undergraduates took up employment in the private sector. The survey does not clarify if nurses were working as a nurse, HCA outside of the public sector via agency etc.
The INMO conducted its own survey of nursing and midwifery interns of 2017, earlier this year. At that point, 78% of all interns were considering emigrating. In response to this, the HSE agreed to offer all the new graduates permanent contracts.
In summary, these headlines are misleading. Undergraduate nurses, if they responded, only responded from 6 out of 13 colleges and the data also included employees undertaking continuous professional development who remained in employment.
Unfortunately this is not a good news story and the facts remain that employment during this period in the Public Health service was not available to, or availed of, by undergraduate nursing. The HSE’s own figures show that in December 2015 the staff nursing whole time equivalent (WTE) figure was 24,749 and this had decreased by 189 WTE’s to 24,560 in May 2016. Thus, the HSE’s staffing figures put in context the misleading headlines in the HEA report.
Phil Ni Sheaghdha, INMO General Secretary Designate said:
“It is unfortunate that the HEA have presented some statistics from the study in a misleading manner which undermines the study as a whole. 1,500 new nursing and midwifery graduates are trained each year and the INMO is continuing to work with national and local HSE management to ensure that we hold on to as many new graduates as possible. Most graduates who have been offered contracts are willing to stay. However, many graduates have not been offered jobs. This has forced many to consider emigration with the UK, where there are severe nursing and midwifery shortages, remaining the most popular destination.”
Liam Conway, INMO’s Student and New Graduate Officer added:
“The INMO is currently in the process of conducting an exit poll of the 2017 new graduates and early indications show the following:
• 52.56% offered permanent contracts
• 41.40 % have not been offered a contract or post
• 6.05% have been offered fixed term/temporary contracts
• 32.33% of surveyed new graduates are emigrating
• 67.67% are staying in Ireland
According to the above figures over 32% of 2017 new graduates surveyed will also emigrate.”