Seanad debates

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Commencement Matters

Registration of Nurses

10:30 am

Photo of Martin ConwayMartin Conway (Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

Cuirim fáilte roimh an Aire Stáit. Gabhaim buíochas leis an gCathaoirleach for taking this Commencement matter. Over the years many Irish people, including a very good friend of mine, have emigrated to the United States for economic and other reasons. I know of a number of examples of people who have gone to the United States, who have qualified and worked as nurses for many years there and who want to relocate back to Ireland. They find that the regulations, requirements, qualifications and so on that are required for nurses in Ireland mean their qualifications from the US are not recognised here.

We have a problem in respect of nurses in this country. We do not have enough of them. Many of our nurses are going abroad. Many of them are young people who want to travel and to live life abroad for various reasons. When they qualify as nurses, they find they have to go abroad. We have a significant shortage of nurses. We are opening the doors and welcoming nurses from many other countries but there seems to be a difficulty or problem with recognising nursing qualifications from America. It is probably because of some small technical issue but I believe that, if we were to deal with that particular issue and recognise their qualifications, a number of nurses would enter the HSE system very quickly and be available for work in this country, even if they had to prove five years' experience of working in hospitals as nurses in various disciplines in the United States.

I know of one particular lady who came back to Ireland to be with her elderly mother and to look after her. She is a qualified nurse who worked for years in America but because of the regulations she cannot work as a nurse in Ireland. She can work in many other disciplines but not as a nurse. Will the Minister of State tell me what specifically is the problem? Are we going to address it? If not, why not?


No comments

Log in or join to post a public comment.