Minister for Health announces additional supports of €12m for Student Nurses and Midwives
The Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly TD, today announced that Government has approved his proposals to provide significant additional supports, worth €12m for student nurses and midwives while attending their clinical placements.
Minister Donnelly said: “I am extending the Pandemic Placement Grant of €100 per week to all eligible nursing and midwifery students on placement for this academic year. It will be backdated to September 2021. This funding will support students attending their clinical placements.
“Government is also providing additional support to students needing overnight accommodation away from their normal place of residence in order to attend some of their clinical placements. We are doubling the cap on the vouched accommodation allowance to €100 per week of placement.”
These additional supports arise following the Longer-Term Review of Matters relating to Student Nurses and Midwives. The independent review, by Mr. Seán McHugh, sets out recommendations to enhance the current Travel and Subsistence scheme for students in attending their supernumerary clinical placements. The Minister will consider these further so that a permanent enhanced scheme can be developed that will provide a targeted and more equitable approach to supporting students in undertaking supernumerary clinical placements from Sept 2022.
Mr. McHugh also reviewed the salary of the 36-week internship for final year student nurses and midwives. The Minister supports this recommendation and, as such, will be increasing financial supports to interns.
Minister Donnelly said: “While work is ongoing to progress Mr. Mc Hugh’s specific recommendation, I want to provide additional financial support to intern students. That is why, in the interim, all student nurses and midwives on paid internship placement, will now receive additional financial support of €1,800 for the duration of their paid internship. This will take effect from 1 Jan 2022, the same date as paid internships for the current academic year are due to begin.
“It is important that we support our student nurses and midwives to undertake their clinical placements. I am grateful to Mr. McHugh for undertaking this important piece of work as it has helped my consideration of how we can best support our student nurses and midwives as they continue their undergraduate education.”
The Longer-Term Review on Matters relating to Student Nurses and Midwives is available here.
- Student nurses and midwives undertake 45 weeks of supernumerary placement in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd year of study, and the first semester of 4th year. As supernumerary students, they are not included in the staffing complement, they learn under supervision of a registered nurse/midwife and are not accountable for patient care. The existing travel and accommodation circular was published in 2004 and has not been reviewed since.
- The Longer-Term Review recommends that the present rate of pay for Student Nurses and Midwives on 36-week Paid Internship Placement be changed with an increase to 80% of the first point of the staff nurse/midwife pay scale.
- The temporary interim measure concerns an additional payment of €50 per week (equivalent to 50% of the Pandemic Placement Grant) to all student nurses on their 36-week paid internship placement, worth an extra €1,800.
- This proposed interim measure will be put in place while work is underway to develop those detailed proposals to give effect to the recommendation relating to intern pay.