Graduate nurses consider emigrating in search of better pay

Mark Carroll

Graduate nurses consider emigrating in search of better pay as they are struggling to afford the rising costs of rent in Ireland, according to the INMO.

Graduate nurses find themselves in a health service that is chaotic, according to Neal Donohue, the student graduate officer at the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO). He highlighted the difficulties nurses face in relation to the rising cost of rent, particularly in Dublin.

Donohue made reference to the report released last month. According to the report, the cost of renting in Ireland has increased by 10.4 per cent in 2017. Since 2010, rent in Dublin has increased by an average of 81 per cent from their lowest point.

Of course they will consider working abroad with better pay, better working conditions and incentives to help them get started,” said Donohue. “I don’t believe they threaten emigration. I believe they realistically have to consider it, but they do so with a heavy heart.”

In a survey conducted by INMO last year, 42.44 per cent of intern nurses surveyed said they would consider staying in Ireland with improved staffing levels and working conditions. 39.05 per cent said their priority was an increase in pay if they were to avoid emigrating.

“The reality is we have a deficit of over 3000 nurses and midwives and there needs to be an incentive for them to stay,” said Donohue. “At the time of the 2017 survey only 16.25 per cent had been offered permanent contracts, but 70.2 per cent of the respondents had been approached by overseas recruiters.”

“In the meantime, we continue to lose nurses through retirement. We need to make up the deficit.”

While many nurses opt to leave the country for financial and professional reasons, there are some graduate nurses who see it as an opportunity to develop personally.

“I’d definitely consider moving abroad for a year or two but my reasons are because I have always wanted to travel and I chose nursing as a career because I wanted to help people and travel at the same time and nursing allows me to do just that,” said Aine O’Rourke, a psychiatric nursing student.

“In saying all this, I always see myself returning to Ireland as it’s where my family is and I have always had great experiences working in various placements here and have met some truly amazing and inspiring nurses throughout my four years in college so why wouldn’t I want to return to work full time with them?” O’Rourke said.

Mark Carroll