Confirmed by the Irish Health Department, the Irish government will provide funding for student nursing and midwifery positions at Northern Ireland universities.
This decision comes after the announcement of a reduction of 300 nursing places due to budget cuts across Stormont’s departments.
According to The Irish Times, the majority of these placements will be allocated to students from the Republic of Ireland.
As part of the one-year deal, a portion of the placements will be set aside for Northern Ireland students, as stated by The Irish Times. After graduating, the student nurses and midwives will have the freedom to work on either side of the border.
The Irish Department of Health spokesperson confirmed that funding for 200 nursing places would be provided for students from the Republic of Ireland.
They also stated that this initiative supports Northern Ireland’s goal of maintaining their training capacity and signifies the potential of cross-border collaboration.
The Northern Ireland Department of Health spokesperson expressed appreciation for the proposed one-year arrangement, which will assist in sustaining the existing training infrastructure for pre-registration nurse training.
They also mentioned the intention to potentially increase the number of NI-funded places in the future if additional funding becomes accessible.
The Northern Ireland department emphasized the advantages of collaboration, stating that the health service would benefit from practical training provided by nursing and midwifery students funded by the Republic of Ireland in Northern Ireland’s hospitals.
The spokesperson further added that the proposed one-year funding arrangement is a significant and practical step towards promoting future collaboration throughout the entire island of Ireland.
The provision of additional nursing training positions was a crucial component of the New Decade, New Approach agreement, which reinstated Stormont’s institutions in 2020.
In May of this year, the Royal College of Nursing expressed concern over the announced cuts to nursing places, stating that the decision would cause “irreparable damage.”
Source : bbc.com