Thousands of first year nursing students across the country were given just two days to pay a newly introduced administration fee just before Christmas.
The €20 fee was introduced by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI) in December with little or no explanation given to students as to why they have to pay the fee. However, the fee is not expected to be an annual cost to students. There are currently 270 first year nursing students attending DCU.
A motion for DCUSU to oppose the fee was passed unanimously by class reps at the most recent Class Rep Council (CRC) meeting. It is understood DCUSU will lobby the USI to follow suite.
Newly elected CRC Chairperson and first year Children’s and General Nursing student Katie Dawson brought the motion forward. “We were sent a direct debit form last year on a Wednesday and told to have it returned by the Friday,” she said.
Speaking to The College View, Dawson said: “We were basically told that we couldn’t do our placements unless we paid the fee”.
Under the Nurses and Midwives Act 2011, which governs and regulates the nursing and midwifery professions, all practising nurses and midwives are obliged to be registered by NMBI. Practising nurses and midwives also have to pay an annual retention fee mounting to €150.
Dawson was elected Chairperson of CRC unopposed following the resignation of former CRC chairperson Claire Mullan for academic reasons.
The NMBI was unavailable for comment when contacted by The College View.