Minister for Health Simon Harris has announced that student nurses will be paid for the duration of the Covid-19 crisis.

In a statement this evening, the minister said student nurses and midwives will be offered a contract as a Healthcare Assistant and be paid for their work. 

He said this will allow students to complete their placement and continue to complete the course.

Student nurses are being asked to apply online through

The minister said: "This is an offer and not an obligation. But I know so many of our student nurses want to play their role as we navigate our way through these difficult times. 

"Our healthcare professionals have shown immense leadership and I will do everything I can to support them."

He paid tribute to nurses working in hospitals saying they had shown immense leadership in these difficult times and said we need all hands on deck. 

Earlier this week, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said the Government was examining the issue of student nurses working in hospitals during the Covid-19 emergency and not getting paid.

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The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation has welcomed the Government's announcement on student nurse pay but said it will be seeking further clarification.

The organisation called for further clarity on how the roles can be integrated with student nurses' academic placements.

It said taking on student nurses as paid staff not only values their work, but offers them clear protections as employees.

INMO General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said: "This is a really welcome step from the government. It’s good news for the student nurses, who will now be paid for their work on the frontlines."