When you need to know: Nurse Jackie

Nursing students across Ireland need to be aware of the new nursing process steps and to take care of themselves, the Department of Health (DOH) has warned.

The warning comes after the Government announced the appointment of the National Nurse Jacky in April, and as part of its National Nursing Care Framework, it has been urged to implement an “emergency and sustained staffing” programme.

Nursing students in NI have been advised to apply for an RN position and take care to ensure they are prepared to accept a new position with an RN in the same hospital as their previous position, according to the Department’s new National Nursing Services Strategy.

In a statement issued today, the department said it was not an exhaustive list of all nurses in the nursing system, and “care should be taken when considering a potential change in the role”.

It added that it was “aware of the potential risks associated with the change in staffing arrangements” for the new role, and urged students to take “care” to ensure their health is in a good state and to “ensure that there are no barriers to their care”.

It also stressed that “it is important that all nursing students who are currently in nursing positions are provided with the support they need to ensure that their health and wellbeing are not compromised”.

The NI Health and Social Care Executive said in a statement that the position of RN has been vacant for two years and that it is in the best interests of students to apply.

It said that the current role is “a temporary one”, and that the NI Health & Social Care Trust is working with the Government to provide the staffing for the role.

A number of students have already applied to become RNs, and the Department has promised to meet all applicants’ recruitment requirements by the end of September.

In March, the government announced a new system for recruitment, and said it would offer up to 60 positions across the country to new students and those who had previously received a nursing degree.