'We should pay the relocation costs to bring nurses home'
A call has been made for nurses returning home from abroad to be given financial incentives to cover the cost of relocation.
The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) has warned that "special measures" are required to make posts here attractive to newly emigrated nurses.
It comes as a major recruitment drive is to set to be launched abroad to try and lure Irish nurses back home.
The INMO said it has been in discussions with the HSE in relation to the major drive which will be primarily targeted at the UK.
The union said that as a result of six years of a "flawed" recruitment embargo, the HSE is now in a situation where the country is short of the required number of nurses, and it said that urgent policy initiatives are required to underpin a dynamic recruitment campaign.
"It is now acknowledged that we have a critical shortage of nurses in this country and special measures are required to attract back our recently emigrated nurses particularly from the UK," said INMO general secretary Liam Doran.
He said that Health Minister Leo Varadkar had acknowledged that hundreds of nurses must be attracted back from the UK, and they must be convinced that our health service is a positive place to work.
"In order to achieve this, the HSE, the Department of Healthy and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform must be prepared to think creatively and not restrictively, so that Ireland can compete on the world stage for the scarce resource that is the highly-skilled registered nurse," Mr Doran said.
"Our young professionals will not come home unless we offer dynamic, positive, proactive employment opportunities and this campaign must deliver on all of these fronts if it is to be successful," he said.
The INMO has called on the HSE to agree certain initiatives which must include "financial incentives to cover the cost of relocation; permanent posts with full incremental credit and greatly enhanced professional and educational pathways leading to access to specialist and post graduate programmes."
Meanwhile, the INMO is carrying out a survey this month in conjunction with Dublin City University among members into the effects on the health and well being of nurses and midwives in their current working environments.
The survey will look at issues such as ill health and the effect this has on the general well-being of nurses and midwives and the response of employers.