500 care home nursing jobs unfilled

Up to 500 nursing jobs are waiting to be filled in care homes for the elderly, it has been claimed.

Nursing Homes Ireland (NHI) highlighted the job opportunities in private and voluntary homes after a third of its members revealed they had difficulty filling vacancies in the past.

Unions have warned the majority of newly-qualified nurses are being forced to emigrate for employment because of a public sector recruitment embargo.

Tadhg Daly, NHI chief executive, said: “Nursing graduates are finding their employment prospects greatly diminished and some are choosing to move overseas, while experienced nurses are being forced into early retirement from the public sector.

“We want nurses to be aware nursing homes are offering challenging and rewarding employment opportunities in their own local communities.”

A survey of nursing homes by the NHI revealed there are 448 nursing posts immediately available, with six out of 10 members having one or more nursing vacancies.

Another 71% are planning to offer nursing employment in the next 12 months.

Elsewhere, the survey revealed up to 1,364 nursing posts will be created in the private and voluntary sector in the next 12 months.

NHI published a brochure that aims to offer nurses – students, graduates and the experienced – a comprehensive insight into the challenges and rewards of working in a nursing home.

Professor Brendan McCormack, president of the All Ireland Gerontological Nursing Association, told the recruitment seminar in Dublin the impact of an ageing population globally has a knock-on effect on nursing, resulting in increasing numbers of nurses working with older people.