The number of nurses and midwives practising in Ireland rose by 5pc to 79,489 last year with the majority of new recruits coming from non-EU countries, a new report has revealed.
In 2023, the top overseas countries from which new registrants came were India who included 3,272 nurses and the Philippines who made up 560.
Another 232 came from the United Kingdom and 169 from Zimbabwe.
The 2023 figures show a 27pc or 6,257, increase in new registrants joining the register and the highest percentage increases in new registrants are in the General Nurses Division and the Midwives Division.
“Nurses and midwives educated outside of Ireland play an essential role in the Irish health system. From June 1 last year to May 31 this year the regulator issued 10,679 decision letters, to overseas applicants,” the report reads.
“Getting a decision letter is an essential step in the process of overseas nurses and midwives applying to join the register. For most applicants, it allows them to fulfil a required compensation measure, before applying to join the register”
Commenting on the report Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said: “This is a very welcome report and of interest to all of those involved in healthcare in Ireland.
“These figures from the State of the Register 2023 are a testament to the work of NMBI in supporting and enhancing our nursing and midwifery professions.
“We can see the policy on Advance Practice coming to fruition, as the report shows a 23pc increase in Advanced Nurse Practitioners and a 43pc increase in Advanced Midwife Practitioners.
“Having access to these figures enables policymakers to ensure that Ireland’s healthcare system is fit for purpose today and into the future”.
Chief Nursing Officer, Rachel Kenna, added: “I am particularly pleased to see a 7pc increase in the numbers of nurses and midwives working directly with patients.
Nurses and midwives play a pivotal role in the provision of coordinated, safe and high quality care, and seeing the increase in numbers at the point of the patient reflects positively that we are planning appropriately and effectively for the future of patient focused care delivery across the health care system.”