Student nurses (members of the Psychiatric Nurses Association, PNA) today (Tuesday, 2nd November) joined other student nurses in a demonstration at Leinster House at the continued delay by Health Minister Stephen Donnelly in addressing the unfair treatment of student nurses and the delay in publishing the review of allowances for student nurses and pay rates for 4th. year students on paid internship placement.

The independent review by Sean McHugh on pay and allowances for student nurses and midwives was received by Minister Donnelly earlier this summer but has yet to be published. It was undertaken following the acknowledgement by the Department of Health of the contribution and role that student nurses on clinical placement make to our health services, which was highlighted particularly during the Covid-19 crisis.

Mr McHugh was appointed by the Government following concerns raised by nursing unions, over the current travel and accommodation allowances for supernumerary clinical placements.

Peter Hughes, General Secretary of the PNA said it was inexcusable that the completed review had not been published, and more importantly that student nurses who have made an enormous contribution to the health services are not receiving allowances that reflect the reality of their contribution.

“It is imperative that student nurses are valued and treated with respect as a vital part of the future of healthcare provision in this country. With student nurses already taking up placements there is a real urgency for the McHugh review to be published. We believe there is overwhelming support in the community for the role that student nurses play during their internship and supernummery training and this needs to be acknowledged now in the internship pay and level of allowances they receive – this has not been the case to date.”


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