The Minister for Health has said he can offer every nurse graduating from Irish universities a full-time permanent post in the health service.

Simon Harris told the Dáil this is unlike previous years where graduates had to take temporary jobs or emigrate.

He was speaking during a debate on a Sinn Féin motion calling for recruitment and retention measures for nurses, which is being attended by representatives of nursing unions.

The motion also calls for the establishment of a new Commission on Nursing.

Mr Harris said that in not opposing the motion, the Government is accepting that more needs to be done.

However, he said there is now a statutory roadmap for the unwinding of the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest measures, which affected health service workers.

Sinn Féin's health spokesperson Louise O'Reilly said nurses are in the front line, trying to deliver safe level of care within the reality of decreasing staff and increasing demand.

She said successive Governments have failed to deliver on nurse's calls for improvement in their working conditions and for the issue of pay.