THE MINISTER for Health Simon Harris yesterday confirmed that student nurses battling coronavirus on the front lines will be paid for their work for the duration of the crisis.
In a statement released yesterday evening, 26 March, Minister Harris announced a new scheme in which student nurses and midwives would be offered paid contracts as Healthcare Assistants.
This contract-- which student nurses and midwives can apply for here-- will allow them to receive payment while also completing their work experience placements as part of their college course.
The Minister paid tribute to the tremendous work the students were doing, and said the opportunity to become contracted healthcare workers was "an offer and not an obligation".
"But I know so many of our student nurses want to play their role as we navigate our way through these difficult times.
"Our healthcare professionals have shown immense leadership and I will do everything I can to support them," he said.
The Government had come under pressure to pay student nurses and midwives for their work, with the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation having released a blistering statement where they said they had "repeatedly warned the HSE of the difficulties now experienced by students in areas of accommodation for placements and also lack of consistent supervision in the clinical placement”.
“The HSE should offer students proper, paid employment, with the protections that go along with being a proper employee. This should be in line with their existing training and skills”.