THE HSE has issued a call for Irish nurses to return from abroad to work in the beautiful South of Ireland.
A new campaign has seen the South/South West Hospital Group (SSWHG) calling for Irish nurses to return home where they can make a positive and visible difference in communities both small and large.
The SSWHG comprises of 10 acute hospitals in the south of Ireland; Cork University Hospital, Cork University Maternity Hospital, South Infirmary Victoria University Hospital, Mercy University Hospital, Mallow General Hospital, University Hospital Kerry, Bantry General Hospital, South Tipperary General Hospital, University Hospital Waterford and Kilcreene Regional Orthopaedic Hospital.
Major new opportunities are available for nurses across all specialities. These include opportunities for further education, professional development and clinical progression to the level of Advanced Nurse Practitioners/Advanced Midwifery Practitioners (ANPs/AMPs).
The Irish Post spoke to Nurse Practice Development Coordinator Ann Kelleher of the South/South West Hospital Group to learn more about these opportunities and find out why the South of Ireland could hugely benefit from nurses returning from abroad.
"After this year people may be looking at the world a little differently, and some may wish to return to Ireland, to be closer to family and friends," Ms Kelleher said.
"There's an appetite to attract people who were trained here originally, as Irish trained nurses are so well renowned throughout the world. If we could bring them back it would be amazing."
The HSE has vacancies for nurses in all specialities across the SSWHG, from Cork city to Tralee, from Bantry to Waterford and South Tipperary, she added.
"It's sometimes easier to attract people to the cities, but places like West Cork, Kerry and Tipperary are such beautiful parts of the world, and have a lot to offer.
"In the smaller hospitals, you really get to know the community and your colleagues, and it feels like a family," she said, adding that while in the past the smaller hospitals may have had less opportunity for career progression,
this has all changed.
"There is now significant opportunity for clinical advancement that may not necessarily have been there a few years ago, thanks to Sláintecare and the policy to deliver care closer to the patients home," Ms Kelleher revealed.
"We have plenty of opportunities to advance your clinical career” Ms Kelleher said, adding that there is a need for at least 2% of the nursing and midwifery population to become ANPs/AMPs, a position comparable to the UK's Nurse Consultant.
Across the South/SouthWest Hospital Group there are 52 registered Advanced Nurse Practitioners (ANPs) and one Advanced Midwife Practitioner (AMP), with 22 candidates currently undergoing ANP training, and 9 further candidates in training to become AMPs.
As well as clinical advancement, the HSE has "competitive salary scales, offers permanent contracts and generous allocation allowances”, and has "introduced a recent pay increase for nurses and midwives and a new enhanced contract."
The South/South-West Hospital Group's affiliation with University College Cork and other Higher Institutes of Education also provides unique opportunities for further education, particularly for nurses who may be interested in becoming Advanced Nurse Practitioners or progressing their career in other directions.
Sláintecare is a 10 year programme for reforming the healthcare system in Ireland, she explained.
"The main goals are to delivery care closer to peoples home, improve access to hospital services, reduce waiting lists, facilitate early hospital discharge and avoid unnecessary attendance at hospitals in the first instance.
“Sláintecare is providing new opportunities for nurses to work in posts that cross over between acute and community services. This will reduce the pressure on acute hospitals, making Ireland's health service a better place for both patients and staff”.
And you could be part of this reform.
"Sláintecare has been spoken about for a few years now, but in the last few months it's really progressing as evidenced by the array of interesting posts being advertised," Ms Kelleher said.
To reach these goals however, the HSE need more nurses across all specialities, more midwives and more Advanced Nurse/Midwife Practitioners, so it is vital that people answer the call to return to Ireland.
Any qualified nurses or midwives who are eligible to work in Ireland and interested in the opportunities available should send their applications to [email protected]