Pursuant to the Lansdowne Road Agreement, the Department of Health and the HSE are to consider the issues of pay for student nurses during the fourth year 36 week placement with the nursing unions. This process has commenced.
Student nurses participate in the 4th year rostered clinical placement as part of their degree programme and are paid in accordance with the trainee rates specified in the National Minimum Wage Acts for the duration of the placement. At present they are paid €6.49 per hour for the first 12 weeks of the placement, €6.92 for the second 12 weeks and €7.79 for the third 12 weeks, excluding premium payments. This equates to approximately 53% of the 1st point of the staff nurse scale. Mental health student nurses are paid 2.3% more, reflecting existing relativities between general and psychiatric staff nurse pay scales. When undertaking the placement, the students are not qualified nurses and require supervision. This is reflected in the 2:1 replacement ratio for student nurses replacing staff nurses.
The current rates of pay will be increased from the 1st January 2016, in line with the increase in the minimum wage to €9.15 per hour announced in Budget 2016 and provided for in the National Minimum Wage Order 2015 (S.I. No. 442 of 2015).