Kildare South Fine Gael TD Martin Heydon has today (Friday) said that he will continue to push for improvements to the registration process for nurses which has a huge backlog at present. This is causing severe disruption for both nurses and employers such as the HSE and private nursing homes.
“All nurses who wish to work in Ireland whether trained here or abroad, need to register with the NMBI (Nursing & Midwivery Board of Ireland) before they can practice in Ireland. The board is experiencing delays of up to a year at present which is preventing many nurses who wish to commence work in Ireland from taking up positions.
“I have been trying to assist some Irish nurses who trained abroad and who now wish to come home to work and it has proved extremely difficult to process the registration, so much so that some choose to remain working abroad.
“I am also aware from local nursing homes that the delays in registrations is preventing them from taking on nursing staff from abroad who are ready to come and work here and who are very much needed at present.
“Following a recent parliamentary question to outgoing Minister for Health Leo Varadkar I am awaiting a further update from the NMBI and I will be taking the issue up with new Minister Simon Harris.”
Notes to Editors
DÁIL QUESTION addressed to the Minister for Health (Leo Varadkar)
by Deputy Martin Heydon
for WRITTEN ANSWER on 21/04/2016
* To ask the Minister for Health the steps being taken to address the delays in registration of nurses; and if he will make a statement on the matter. Martin Heydon T.D.
I wish to thank the Deputy for the matter raised. Given that this is an operational matter, it is appropriate that it should be dealt with by the NMBI. I have referred the Deputy’s question to the NMBI for attention and direct reply. If you have not received a reply from the NMBI within 15 working days, please contact my Private Office and they will follow up the matter with them.
However, I would like to advise the Deputy of a number of measures taken by the NMBI and to put the perceived registration delays in context.
A significant volume of applications has been received by the NMBI, particularly during 2015. Many of the applications received to date are incomplete whereby documents remain outstanding on a file and therefore cannot be progressed to review/assessment stage until required documents are received. In addition, many applicants, unfortunately do not complete their application form fully therefore leading to delays in progressing an application through the system.
The NMBI have put a number of contact channels in place for applicants following up on the progress of their application. One such measure was introduced in October 2015 which was the opening of a dedicated call centre line for overseas applicants. This call centre is open Monday through to Friday, 9.00am to 5.30pm. The call centre can provide regular updates to overseas applicants on the current status of their application. The NMBI has launched a new website during February 2016 which will have additional features for overseas applicants to include a facility to “Track their Application” on line.
The NMBI is working with its stakeholders, including HSE, to provide options for nurses who are required to obtain additional competencies in order to meet the requirements for registration. Such options include the adaptation course and an aptitude test.