Written Answers. - Nursing Staff.

John Perry

Question:

647 Mr. Perry asked the Minister for Health and Children the opportunities that are available to a person (details supplied) in County Sligo to pursue a nursing career based on the information provided; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20619/00]

The annual competition for places on the nursing registration-diploma programmes is conducted by the Nursing Careers Centre. The principles of equity and parity of treatment for all applicants underpin the selection processes employed by the centre. Responsibility for the overall running of the centre now rests with An Bord Altranais. From next year, the application system for places on the nursing diploma programmes will be administered by the Central Applications Office, CAO.

The minimum age and educational requirements for entry to the nursing diploma programmes are set by An Bord Altranais. An applicant must be at least 17 years of age on or before 1 June of the year of the application, and have obtained in the leaving certificate a minimum grade C3 in two higher level papers and a minimum grade D3 in four ordinary or higher level papers. A person who does not meet the minimum educational requirements and who is 23 years of age on or before 1 January of the year of application may apply as a mature applicant.

It appears from the information supplied that the person concerned does not meet the minimum educational requirements, nor will she be eligible to apply as a mature applicant for a place on the programme next year as she will not have reached the required age. It will, however, be open to her to apply as a mature applicant for a place on the 2002 programme. Alternatively, if the person concerned was to complete her nursing studies in the United Kingdom and register as a registered general nurse, RGN, with the statutory regulatory body there, she would then be eligible for registration as an RGN with An Bord Altranais. It is not possible for a student who has completed part of a pre-registration nursing education programme in the United Kingdom to transfer to the nursing diploma programme here because of fundamental differences between the structure and content of the respective programmes.