The Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar, and Minister for Mental Health, Primary Care and Social Care (Disabilities and Older People), Kathleen Lynch, have announced an increase in pay for student nurses and midwives, arising from the Lansdowne Road Agreement.
The decision means an increase in the rate of pay for the clinical nursing/midwifery placement undertaken by student nurses/midwives in the fourth year of their degree programme to 70% of the first point of the staff nurse salary scale.
The decision will take effect from March 1st and will benefit around 1,400 student nurses this year and in all subsequent years.
The measure was proposed by the Department of Health in conjunction with the HSE and the nursing unions.
An agreement has also been put in place to restore recognition of the 36-week placement for the purposes of incremental progression for 1,400 student nurses/midwives currently undertaking the placement and for all future students.
The position of those who have graduated since 2011 will be considered further in the context of a review of the impact of these initiatives on retention rates of student nurses/midwives.
This latest positive measure is one of five introduced in the past few months to boost recruitment and retention of nurses.
These include the first stage of pay restoration, a cut in the USC, a €1,500 education bursary for new recruits, more permanent contracts, relocation payments for nurses coming from Britain, pay in return for taking on some duties from doctors and the nursing taskforce on skills and Skill Mix pilot.