UK’s NHS has announced that all nursing students in the UK must pay their own fees instead of them being paid by the UK National Health Service. What is likely to happen in Ireland as a result?
The Health Service Executive (HSE), as an austerity measure in 2011, reduced the number of undergraduate nursing places from 1,860 to 1,500.
The decision by the UK government in 2015 to terminate NHS funding for nursing and paramedical degrees, which covered the £9,000 (€10,410) fees, is likely to mean some Irish students many opt to stay at home. This had led to greater competition for places, placing further pressure on CAO points.
However, Minister for Health Simon Harris has responded recently by increasing to 1,830 the number of undergraduate places which will be available in the 2017-18 academic year. The bulk of these additional places will go to psychiatric nursing, followed by general, children’s nursing and intellectual disability.
A small minority of the overall places – about 10 per cent or so – will be set aside for students in further education pre-nursing programmes.