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Press Release

Wednesday, 17th February 2021



Today, Wednesday 17th February 2021, UCD Students’ Union launched a video campaign calling on the government to ‘Pay Student Nurses and Midwives’. In the video, Louise and Shane, two student nurses, share their experience of working as a student nurse on placement. The video also features eleven TD’s and Senators from opposition parties who support the call to ‘Pay Student Nurses and Midwives’.

Shane, Third-Year Nursing Student, UCD said;

‘The guidelines for a third-year nurse are to look after two to four patients, under the close supervision of a staff nurse. I was on a ward where I was responsible for eleven patients. That’s two or three times more than I was meant to have. It goes completely against my guidelines as a student nurse, but we are expected to do that. We can’t stand up for ourselves.’

Louise, Third-Year Nursing Student, UCD, said;

‘A term that is often used behind closed doors, is that we are extra hands. I hate being called extra hands because I am a student. I'm not there to cover breaks or to make the day go smoother. I am there to learn, but some people don’t see it that way. Once again, it brings us back to the issue of understaffing in hospitals. I will never blame the hospitals for needing us but if they could just admit, and if the colleges could just admit that we are being used as extra help in the hospital to help understaffing – that would be a huge win for student nurses. The fact that we are not recognised as extra help is degrading.'

Conor Anderson, President, UCD Students’ Union said;

‘There are a lot of arguments being made around this problem of paying student nurses and the bottom line is when people do work and if that work is either necessary or generates wealth, which both is the case for student nurses on placement, they have to be paid for it. It doesn’t matter that they are not fully qualified nurses. If they are doing the work that qualified nurses do, they should be paid for it, end of story.

Ruairí Power, Welfare Officer, UCD Students’ Union said;

‘Student nurses and midwives are doing real work and they should be compensated for it. In fact, they are paying huge sums of money for the privilege of propping up deficiencies in our public health service due to years of government inaction and failure to recruit and retain essential staff.‘


**Please note: For all media interviews and queries, please contact Christina Kelly, Press Officer, on 0838348766 or on

**Please note: Video attached – no repro fees - Should be credited to UCD Students’ Union and MRN Photography