Ireland is a country that is very much in a growth phase and has a large elderly population. With advances in treatment, procedures and medication, our elders are living longer than ever. Whilst this is a great achievement for our small island, it is also one of the reasons that our healthcare sector is desperately short of nurses.
For several years, Ireland was in economic crisis and during that time, graduate nursing opportunities were considered limited and stifling, so of course, many of the new nurses commenced their nursing careers abroad in United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and further afield.
Recent efforts by the Health Service Executive (Ireland’s public health sector management) to attract these lost nurses back to Ireland has proven to be largely unsuccessful as the nurses have made a life for themselves in these other countries.
During the recessionary economic times, very few permanent positions were advertised for Ireland’s public sector hospitals. This allowed private nursing homes and hospitals to recruit the bulk of nurses entering Ireland for the first time.
In recent years, this has all changed and now the Health Service Executive (public sector) are recruiting for positions across the country, this has had a knock-on effect on both the private hospitals and nursing home sectors. This means there is a bounty of positions available for nurses who want to work in Ireland.
In my recent experience, I have found that the best available positions for nurses who are moving to Ireland for the first time are in private hospitals. They are offering the best relocation packages and are adept at avoiding the paperwork and red tape that hampers the public sector. They are quick to organise sponsored adaptations and training where required, they move quickly to organise interviews and focus their resources on filling their skills gap in a timely and efficient manner.
There is still an unwarranted preference amongst some nurses for the public sector. I suppose it is this preference that creates the vacancies in private sector hospitals. However, in my experience, the nurses taking up roles in the private sector have had an interview, offer, work permit, visa and adaptation organised for them whilst the public sector process can take much, much longer!
Not every nurse is suitable for the hospital sector; some would argue that the most compassionate nurses choose nursing home or hospice care roles. Nursing homes continue to struggle to attract nurses and as a consequence; the salaries in the nursing home sector have soared and there is an abundance of management opportunities and sponsored training available. I have often marvelled at this but I find myself thinking that it is because when Nurses go into Nursing School in their brand new bright white uniforms, ready to take on the world, it is a hospital that they picture in their mind and indeed, often their nursing training takes place predominantly in the hospital setting.
Public Hospital, Private Hospital or Nursing Home? Whichever setting you like, it is a fantastic time for overseas nurses to move to Ireland. Not only are the gates open, but the red carpet is rolled out and your personal recruiter awaits the chance to help you make this move!