More than 200 gerontological care opportunities for nurses in the private & voluntary nursing homes sector


More than 200 nursing opportunities exist within the gerontological care sector and the number is expected to grow in the next six to 12 months, a new survey by Nursing Homes Ireland reveals. The survey was conducted to coincide with Nursing Homes Week 2014 (16th to 22nd June) the annual celebration to promote nursing home care.


NHI will be amongst a host of stakeholders promoting the gerontological nursing discipline to graduating nurses at DCU this coming Wednesday, 18th June. Speakers from the private and voluntary nursing home sector will promote nursing roles and employment opportunities to approx. 200 students. The recruitment seminar is being hosted to coincide with the launch of Nursing Homes Nursing Projects/DCU report: The Journey Through Death and Dying: Families Experiences of the End-of-Life Care in Private Nursing Homes.  


A dedicated NHI website that will inform of nursing opportunities and promote employment in gerontological care will be launched in coming weeks along with a dedicated brochure.


A range of events activities are taking place in NHI Members Homes across the country to promote the positivity of nursing home life and care during Nursing Homes Week 2014. The week of celebrations commenced today, Monday 16th June, and will run to Sunday 22nd June. Further information is available at


The survey was opened to NHI’s 360 Member homes and its results reveal many of the specialist healthcare settings in our local communities require differing nursing disciplines to fulfil opportunities.


Conducted in March, 117 nursing homes – a quarter of Ireland’s 440 private & voluntary nursing homes – participated in the survey.


Key findings emanating from it were as follows:

  • 232 opportunities were presently available for nurses
  • 241 opportunities were anticipated to become available in the forthcoming six to 12 months
  • 86% of opportunities presently available were for registered general nurses
  • 7.5% for Clinical Nurse Managers
  • 4% for Directors of Nursing
  • 2.5% for other nursing roles
  • 94 nursing candidates within the surveyed homes were awaiting adaptation


Tadhg Daly, NHI CEO stated: “Our sector is offering a sizable number of job opportunities throughout the country for graduate and experienced nurses. This is a highly regulated and professional sector to work within. Nurses require key skills, competencies and considerable expertise to meet particular health and social care requirements of older persons. Graduate and experienced nurses should be aware within our sector that there is strong emphasis on continuous professional development and further education. Gerontological nurses employed within our sector are offered greater autonomy, responsibility and flexibility than those in the acute sector. This is confirmed by the feedback emanating from nurses who have left the acute sector to work within gerontological care in the nursing home sector.


“Working in a private and voluntary nursing homes, your opportunity for promotion is accelerated. Our sector offers immensely challenging and rewarding clinical employment opportunities in communities across Ireland. Many graduates are choosing to emigrate out of necessity as opposed to choice; our Members are offering excellent opportunities. It is immensely rewarding to provide care to older persons and the focus on continuous professional development means nurses within our sector are continually upskilling.”


Mr Daly reemphasised requirement to plan to ensure appropriate clinical staffing is available to meet growing requirement of an older population that is increasing at a significant rate.


“Gerontological nursing is a discipline of key importance to meet our population’s healthcare requirement,” he said. “Decision makers and educators must recognise and promote this key discipline. NHI reiterates workforce planning and workforce development are essential factors in the delivery of high quality care. Recruitment and retention, training and qualifications, continuous learning and skill development all have to be part of a Workforce Plan for our sector to meet current and future needs.”


NHI has made ongoing representations to the Department of Health, HSE and NMBI regarding significant slowdown in adaptation placement that is impacting upon private and voluntary nursing home sector capability to fulfil nursing opportunities. The issue was recently raised in Dáil Éireann. The NMBI requires that nursing applicants who have completed their training, education or fulfilled roles overseas must successfully complete a period of adaptation and assessment as a pre-requisite to registration.


Tadhg Daly is available for further comment. For further information contact Michael McGlynn, NHI Communications & Research Officer at (01) 4292570 or 087 9082970. Testimonials from nurses working within the sector can be made available.


Note for the Editor


Other key results emanating from the NHI survey were as follows:


Those participating were asked to consult with staff and ask what they consider most rewarding about their role within gerontological care:

  • 23% cited interest in working with older people
  • 19.5% flexible working arrangements & ease of location
  • 12% homely atmosphere within employment setting
  • 11% job satisfaction
  • 10% preference to work in small work setting
  • 8% no further opportunities
  • 7.5% good learning environment
  • 4.5% better wages than counterparts working elsewhere
  • 3%% job security
  • 3% high standards in the profession


Participants were asked what they consider the key selling points of the sector:

  • 27% cited job satisfaction / working with older people
  • 22% opportunity for management experience / promotion
  • 19% education / training / support / experience
  • 17% the homely environment / team work
  • 9% terms and conditions
  • 6% quality and standard of care


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