Press Release

Cowen delighted at record number of new nursing students

The Minister for Health and Children, Brian Cowen T.D., today expressed his delight at the highly successful outcome to this year’s competitions for training places on the Nursing Diploma Programmes.

A total of 1,217 training places have been filled: 819 in general nursing, 242 in psychiatric nursing and 156 in mental handicap nursing.

“This is the largest number of direct entrants to nurse training for several years, and proves that there continues to be considerable interest among young people and others in nursing as a career.” said Minister Cowen.

The Minister congratulated the Nursing Careers Centre and the schools of nursing around the country for the concerted marketing campaigns undertaken by them at both national and local level.

“I provided almost £400,000 for these campaigns and I regard it as money well spent. I am particularly pleased that the promotional campaigns have raised the profile of both psychiatric nursing and mental handicap nursing. This year we succeeded in filling a record 242 training places in psychiatric compared with only 92 in 1998, and a record 156 places in mental handicap nursing compared with 117 last year. It is especially heartening to note that the Schools of Psychiatric Nursing in Letterkenny, Limerick and Waterford, which did not proceed with intakes in 1998 due to the low number of successful applicants accepting places, have all substantially increased their intake of students this year.” said the Minister.

Minister Cowen added that he had also made available funding for some 100 extra training places in general and psychiatric nursing this year and that these had been offered to applicants who successfully came through the competition.