Sunday 18 March 2018

'Please come back to work' - 14,000 nurses to get plea letters in attempt to fill shortages

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Stock photo

Eilish O’Regan

NEARLY 14,000 nurses who are fully registered but classed as "inactive" are to receive a personal letter in the post asking them to come back to work .

The appeal is being made by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI) along with Nursing Homes Ireland - representing private nursing homes - in a bid to fill hundreds of nursing vacancies.

Chief executive of the NMBI Mary Griffin said: “The quality of patient care across our health system is hugely dependent on an adequate workforce of nurses.

“The aim of this initiative is to encourage some of the many thousands of nurses whose names are on the inactive file of the register to consider reactivating their registration and returning to practice in Ireland.”

She pointed out that currently there are significant employment opportunities throughout the country, both on a full-time and part-time basis, that offer nursing staff the prospect of advancing their education further and developing new skills.

“We are happy to partner with NHI on this initiative and to urge nurses currently out of practice to consider returning and bringing their specialist skills to bear within communities and care facilities in need of nursing care and expertise.”

Tadhg Daly, NHI CEO said said that “nursing homes in our local communities offer great opportunities for inactive nurses to return to practice by offering them fulfilling roles that bring immense satisfaction.

“Their background and experience can bring enormous benefits and support to the dedicated home-from-home healthcare settings in our communities that are nursing homes.

“The majority of people who are dependent upon nursing home care are very old, being aged 85 years or over. With this cohort of the population projected to increase considerably by the CSO, requirement to provide specialist, gerontological care is growing significantly.”

“A bursary to the value of €1,500 is available to nurses wishing to complete HSE-run return to nursing practice courses. The communication being issued to the 13,000+ inactive nurses informs them of the bursary available and how they can reactivate their registration. It also informs them of NHI’s dedicated recruitment website,, and A Career in Nursing Homes, the organisation’s booklet that provides information and advice to nurses considering careers in nursing homes.  

Marie Colgan, who is bed manager at the Orwell Healthcare, Rathgar, Dublin returned to nursing after 21 years out of the profession.

Marie  worked as a psychiatric nurse in St Vincent’s Hospital and as a General Nurse in North Infirmary Hospital, Co Cork. She gave up nursing for  family commitments.

“Understandably I was apprehensive to begin with but this is slowly subsiding as I gain more experience within my new role and learn the systems within Orwell Healthcare.

“It brings a good feeling to be getting on top of aspects of the job and is very reassuring after being so long away from the workplace.”

“It’s a smaller environment, more personal and has a nice mixture of nursing and care,” she states. “My role at present is an administration and liaison role which is a new challenge for me. The residents in nursing homes are not acutely ill in general so there is less nursing pressure in that sense.”

“I would recommend it as it is a less stressful environment to re-enter nursing after being inactive due to the mix of relatively healthy residents and therefore a good place to re-familiarise with technology and nursing practices.”

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