Measures to support student nurses and midwives welcomed

galway daily news

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation has welcomed news that measures to support student nurses and midwives have been approved by Cabinet.

The decision will see students supported with travel, subsistence, accommodation and uniform costs.

The measures were recommendations made in the McHugh report published in August 2021, and were due to be implemented by the beginning of the 2022 academic year.

The INMO says that the Cabinet decision is important in the context of supporting student nurses and midwives, as well as buiding measures to retain them on qualification.

The union is now seeking an immediate meeting with Department of Health officials to look at the details and implementation measures surrounding the implementation of the McHugh report recommendations.

Student and New Graduate Officer of the INMO, Róisín O’Connell, said that students are affected by the same cost-of-living challenges as their qualified colleagues.

She said many of them are struggling to meet the costs of transportation, fuel, heating, accommodation, and other necessities for completing their training.

“This includes the cost of accommodation away from home during placements, which is simply unaffordable for students.

“The McHugh report was aimed at bringing allowances for student nurses and midwives in line with the expenses they always incur as part of their training.”

Róisín said it was also important to recognise the additional challenges placed on students during the pandemic and the huge contribution they made to the frontline workforce.

“Travel is a big part of student placements, but some students will have to pay for accommodation in two places. Supports for these really significant expenses and for uniforms will mean a lot to our student members.

“The INMO has lobbied and pursued these claims for student nurses since 2010 so it is very welcome that as the fourth years commence their internship this is one less issue for them to deal with.”