Intern nurses and midwives struggling in overcrowded hospitals
Almost 3 out of 4 intern nurses and midwives (73%) said staffing levels in their workplaces were not sufficient to support a positive learning environment, according to a new survey published today by the INMO.
With large numbers of nursing and midwifery interns stating their intention to leave Ireland post-qualification, 33% stated that if staffing and working conditions were improved, they would delay their departure. 54% also stated pay was a significant factor in whether they would consider remaining in Ireland a further year after qualifying.
When prompted to provide further information to support their answers interns cited factors such as a lack of adequate breaks, unmanageable pressure, exhaustion, and a lack of safe staff-to-patient ratios across the Irish health service among the reasons for considering leaving Ireland or moving to the private healthcare sector.
INMO Student and New Graduate Officer Roisin O’Connell said:
“We simply can’t afford to be losing newly qualified nurses and midwives, but in light of the conditions they’re describing it’s not surprising so many of them want to leave.
“Final year students are looking at their qualified colleagues who are burned out and exhausted and they’re seeing how they’re treated by their employer. They see the chronic understaffing and the salary they’re expecting to receive next year and deciding it’s just not worth it.
“These are young people who joined these professions and completed their training because they love nursing and midwifery, and for many of them we’re seeing that the system has managed to take all of the joy out of their jobs before their careers have even begun.”
INMO General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said:
“Measures need to be implemented to ensure safer staffing across the health service and better supports for students and intern, or else we’re looking at a long-term skills shortage in the health service that will have a direct impact on patient care.
“The survey results here show us that student nurses and midwives need to be supported in learning environments throughout and then given early offers of employment with information from the HSE on start date and salary – the delay in this process is actually causing us to lose qualified nurses as they get the information too late and in too many cases the NHS has offers made before the Irish employer.
“The INMO continues to call for increased undergraduate places and more routes to accessing nursing and midwifery training, so we can increase the numbers of graduates. However, we also need to make working in Ireland a viable option for these graduates, or they will take their skills and their qualifications to countries that can offer them a better life and a better career.”
Contact Siobhán 087-7987948
• 73% of nursing and midwifery graduates are considering emigrating when they qualify.
• 54% of respondents say increases in pay is the priority incentive to encourage them to stay in the Irish public health system.
• 33% say improved staffing levels and working conditions are also a necessary incentive to encourage them to stay in the Irish public health service.
• 60% of respondents say that they would delay their departure for a year if their employers guaranteed employment for at least their first year after qualifying.
• 32% of respondents have been approached by overseas nursing companies to recruit them into their service.
• 59% have considered moving to the private sector within Ireland after qualifying.
• 73% have not found adequate staffing levels in the workplace to support a positive
• learning environment.
• 39% of respondents are considering moving to a workplace closer to home due to the cost of living.
• 57% of respondents have not been made aware of the salary for newly qualified nurses/midwives in Ireland.