A Profile of Migrant Nurses in Ireland. Nurse Migration Project Policy Brief 4

Migrant nurses, mainly from outside of the EU, are now an essential component of the Irish nursing workforce. This is the result of almost a decade of active overseas nurse recruitment from countries such as India and the Philippines. Between 2000 and 2008, non-EU migrant nurses accounted for 40% of nurses newly registered with the Irish Nursing Board [2] (see Fig. 1). According to the INO, "It is a reality, not readily acknowledged by Irish health employers, that this country would now be forced to close literally thousands of beds”’ [3] without the presence of migrant nurses in the health system. Despite this reliance, there is little information available about Ireland’s migrant nurse workforce. Some quite basic questions remain unanswered including: How many migrant nurses currently work in Ireland? In what fields of nursing and at what grades do they work? How many are women and how many men? What ages are they? What skills and experience did they bring to Ireland and are these being well utilised? Do they have children, either in Ireland or in their home country? Are they satisfied working and living in Ireland? And – of crucial importance – do they intend to stay here? The RCSI nurse migration project is beginning to fill these information gaps, through qualitative and quantitative surveys of migrant nurses in Ireland. This policy brief is the third on emerging project findings.