OVER ONE thousand new nurses have registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Register to help in the fight against Covid-19 in Ireland.
The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI) have announced that a total of 1,169 nurses have been added to the register following an appeal to 'be on call for Ireland' amid the growing spread of Covid-19.
The additional numbers brings the total number of active nurses in Ireland to 78,150-- the highest the country has ever seen.
The NMBI have confirmed that of the 1,169 new active nurses, 784 retired or unregistered nurses have returned to the front lines, and 385 are brand new to the register.
Despite 130 people voluntarily removing themselves from the register during this period, the numbers of active nurses in Ireland has surpassed 78,000 for the first time in history.
New measures relating to the Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Covid-19) Bill 2020 means that nurses who are re-registering do not have to pay the fees usually attached when returning to active duty.
Sheila McClelland, CEO of the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland, said the institution is "delighted to see such an increase in qualified active nurses and midwives on the register", saying "their commitment to the fight against Covid-19 is commendable".
"The Board and the executive would like to thank them sincerely for stepping forward."
"We are restoring qualified nurses and midwives who were retired and on career breaks from all over Ireland. Daily we deal with regulators and relevant bodies in Ireland and abroad to support faster processing of certificates of good standing, qualifications and language competency for those coming from the UK and beyond."
"Our staff are working hard on applications, resulting in up to 80 being processed daily. We continue to explore mechanisms to support all qualified nurses and midwives who want to join frontline staff. We aim to do everything we can to support those who can and want to help."
The NMBI have confirmed that over 500 new applications are the direct result of the HSE's 'On Call for Ireland' campaign.
A number of Irish businesses, individuals and private donors have also facilitated in Irish doctors and nurses returning to Ireland to fight against Covid-19, with the 'Answer Ireland's Call' initiative in which they paid for flights and accommodation for medical staff returning from across the globe.
You can read more about this initiative here.