26 March 2020
By Elaine Murphy
Pay for student nurses during the COVID-19 crisis has been welcomed by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation
The INMO had campaigned intensely for employment opportunities for student nurses for several weeks, as many were unable to work other jobs due to cross-infection risks.
The union understands that student nurses – including interns- will now be offered contracts as healthcare assistants, but officials of the INMO will be seeking further details and information.
In particular, the union will be clarifying on the scope of the students’ practice in these roles and how it can best be integrated with their academic progression and placements.
INMO General Secretary, Phil Ní Sheaghdha, said:
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“This is a really welcome step from the government. It’s good news for the student nurses, who will now be paid for their work on the frontlines.
“It’s also good news for the wider health service. These are dedicated, talented, hard-working people who are keen to help in the global fight against COVID-19. Taking them on as paid staff not only values their work, but offers them clear protections as employees.
“We will now engage with the government to determine the detail of this announcement, particularly on ensuring that students’ academic progression isn’t harmed by the crisis.”