Action needed on nurse registration delays

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Inordinate delays in relation to the registration of nurses and difficulty in recruiting nurses are causing huge difficulties for hospital and nursing home administrators, according to Galway East TD Paul Connaughton.

‘This is an issue that I have taken up with Health Minister Leo Varadkar. There are two facets to the problem, first the issue of attracting Irish nurses back to work in Ireland, both in hospital and nursing home settings and the second is the need to reduce the time it takes for nurses, both from Ireland and elsewhere, to get registered with An Bord Altranais.

‘Nursing Home owners are reporting delays of up to three months between the recruitment of a nurse and when they get the go-ahead from An Bord Altranais and Garda Vetting. While proper oversight procedures are crucial and must be maintained, extra resources must be put in place if that is what is required to reduce waiting times.

‘Such delays also make it very difficult for Irish nurses working abroad who wish to move home because it will lead to a situation where they are out of work for up to three months awaiting clearance. There are hundreds of Irish nurses who have gained valuable experience abroad and who now wish to return to Ireland but are precluded from doing so by these long delays.

‘As the economic upturn takes hold in Ireland more and more nurses will hopefully choose to return to Ireland and now is the time to put the necessary resources in place to make this transition as smooth as possible.’