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Calls for placement bursary for student nurses - Mac Sharry

Calls for placement bursary for student nurses - Mac Sharry

Sligo Leitrim and south Donegal Deputy Marc Mac Sharry has called on Government to introduce appropriate supports for super numeracy nursing students to cover the costs of their clinical placements.

Deputy Mac Sharry told the Dail:

“1st, 2nd & 3rd year nursing students must complete clinical placements which form up to 50% of their Bachelor of nursing course.  As things stand, where travel is required student nurses are provided with just €50 subsistence per week to cover the substantial expenses involved in participating in their placements”

“Student nurses are under financial and emotional strain at the moment due to what is required of them to attend their clinical placements.  The new reality which the pandemic has brought has made the situation worse”

“In many instances nursing students are required to travel to their placements, secure accommodation, feed themselves together with additional uniform laundry costs.  

"All of these are costs over and above the costs of their normal attendance at college and so existing supports such as the SUSI grant scheme or the Student Assistance Fund do not cover these additional expenses.  In addition, many 1st – 3rd year students work part time as health  care assistants in residential care settings which in the Covid environment has deterred clinical placement settings from accepting student nurses due to the perceived increased risk of transmission which is a double blow for students” 

“While 4th year Nursing Students are interns and are currently paid we cannot expect 1st-3rd year students to meet the additional costs of travel, accommodation, subsistence, laundry and so on €50 per week.  For this reason it is imperative that the Department of Higher Education and the Department of Health come together to explore the introduction of an appropriate clinical placements bursary for these students."

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