The HSE will begin paying the €100 a week pandemic grant to student nurses next week over four months after it was first proposed.
Health Minister Stephen Donnelly has said that the payment will also be backdated to last September and the HSE hope it will complete the process next month.
Payment for student nurses working on the frontline during the pandemic has been a pressing issue for the past 15 months with criticism previously that the €100 sum was not enough.
Mr Donnelly also said he hoped Ireland had passed the “darkest days” of the pandemic and that measures would be put in place in recognition of frontline health workers.
He was speaking at this morning’s Irish Nursing and Midwifery Organisation (INMO) annual delegate conference hosted online.
The Health Minister told the delegates he was conscious of the challenges they face which have become more evident during the pandemic.
Mr Donnelly said he had instructed a review to take place of student placements and that this report had come back with a number of recommendations.
One of these, announced in January, was that a €100 a week pandemic placement grant be paid to nursing and midwifery students on supernumerary placement.
“I have accepted all of these recommendations and have also decided the placement grant be backdated to September of last year.
"My department has instructed the HSE to process this payment, and I have confirmation that payments will begin from next week.
“Really importantly, the HSE has said they would be completed by the 1st of June,” Mr Donnelly said.
A long-term review of supports for INMO students is also taking place, including examining levels of pay for final year interns.
It will also look at travel and accommodation allowance for students in supernumerary placement.
Mr Donnelly said he hoped this review would be completed by June 30 ahead of the next academic year and that he would discuss it in detail with the INMO.
He also pledged that all of this year's nursing and midwifery graduates will be offered permanent contracts in the public health system.
“I am hopeful that the darkest days here in Ireland have now past,” he said, adding that he hoped the Government can put in place appropriate measures to recognised the work by frontline healthcare workers.