Written Answers. - Multiple Application for Nursing.

117.

asked the Minister for Health the reason students who wish to study nursing are still being subjected to very unsatisfactory multiple application procedures; and the action he proposes to take to alleviate the problems.

The recruitment of student nurses is at present a matter for each individual nurse training school, each of which is an employer in its own right. The number of training schools in existence naturally means that a variety of application procedures have developed over the years.

The Deputy is probably aware, however, that section 35(2) of the Nurses Act, 1985, gives powers to An Bord Altranais to establish if it so determines, a central applications bureau to process applications from persons wishing to undertake nurse training.

Although An Bord Altranais decided to exercise its powers under this section, agreement on the nature of the operation of the Central Applications Bureau (CAB) could not be reached with some of the health boards and a large number of voluntary hospitals, and a decision to suspend the CAB was eventually taken by the board. An Bord Altranais is currently examining the introduction of a revised CAB structure which, when operational, will alleviate the problem alluded to in the question.