Unions are today warning of that graduate nurses will emigrate in large numbers if the Government implements for its plan to cut their salaries.
The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) and the Psychiatrics Nurses Association will meet today to discuss the recruiting of 1,000 graduates on a lower pay scale.
The move is part of a plan by Government to cut €10m from the Health Service Executive bill by reducing the reliance on agency staff.
Liam Doran of the INMO said that further cuts to the health service will lead to below-par standards in the sector.
"All the feedback suggests they've already made up their minds that they're not staying to be exploited, that they are going to work overseas, particularly in the short term, [in] the UK," he said.
"The UK, London, they'll be earning £27,000 (€33,146). So we're not competing, and I'll say one thing: what the Irish health service needs most of all now is nurses and midwives."