Minister for Health James Reilly is considering extending the graduate plan for nurses and midwives to other career areas in the Health Service.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation has called for a boycott of the programme - under which newly qualified nurses will be paid 80% of existing starting salaries.

A spokesperson for the minister said the employment control ceiling is being breached in order to give graduates a chance to remain at home rather than have to emigrate.