New nurses forced to look abroad as they finish studies
SOME 1,600 nurses will complete the final year of their degree programmes in the coming weeks with little or no prospect of finding work in this country.
Last year, 900 Irish-trained nurses applied to register to work abroad according to new figures obtained by the Sunday Independent. Of these, 271 took up employment in the UK, joining the 2,895 Irish-trained nurses already working in the British health service. Currently, Irish-trained nurses account for 5 per cent of the British nursing staff.
"There's no need for doom and gloom," says Kate Cowhig, who runs a recruitment agency. "No healthcare professional need ever be out of work if they're prepared to move where the jobs are," she added. Zoe Lane, 24, from Midleton, Co Cork, who graduated from University College, Cork, last year, has been working in Whipps Cross University Hospital in East London for the past 11 months.
Similar to other nursing graduates who emigrated last year, Zoie was offered a 40-day contract by the HSE after graduating but chose to take a full-time contract and join the 140 Irish nurses already employed at Whipps Cross.
"I really love it here; I can't see myself coming home anytime soon," she said.