Press Release

New Nurse Recruitment Initiative to benefit State Enrolled Nurses

The Minister for Health and Children, Mr Micheál Martin T.D., today (14th February, 2001) announced details of a new initiative to assist State Enrolled Nurses (SENs) to become registered nurses.

The United Kingdom SEN qualification is not a recognisable nursing qualification here. In order to be eligible for registration as a nurse with An Bord Altranais, a State Enrolled Nurse must successfully complete a nursing conversion programme in the United Kingdom. There are several hundred SENs working in the Irish health service in a non-nursing capacity.

Under the initiative announced by Minister Martin, any SEN working in the Irish health service wishing to undertake a nursing conversion programme in the United Kingdom will now qualify for a non-means tested grant of IR£6,000. The grant will be paid in return for a commitment on the part of the SEN to work as a nurse in the Irish health service following completion of the programme and registration with An Bord Altranais.

Minister Martin said: “State Enrolled Nurses working in our health service have made an important contribution to patient care across a range of settings. They are now being provided with a financial incentive to undertake the programme of education and training required to render them eligible for registration as nurses here.”

“This initiative is the latest in a series of measures taken by me to address the present shortage of nurses. It has the potential to upgrade a large number of experienced Irish health care workers to the level of registered nurses.” added the Minister.