Just 29.8% of final year nursing students have been offered contracts by the HSE, a survey by the INMO has found.
Of those, only 16.25% had been offered permanent contracts in Ireland at the time of survey while 58.92% were considering moving to the private sector in Ireland;
Meanwhile 70% have been contacted by overseas recruiters.
A new INMO survey also shows that 78% of nursing students are considering emigrating when they finish their degree.
INMO President, Martina Harkin-Kelly said: “The results of this survey have clearly put into perspective the on-going crisis in the recruitment and retention of nurses and midwives in this country.
“It highlights the significant need to improve the current incentives being offered in the public health service and the need to offer full-time permanent posts to current interns much earlier in their 4th year.
“This trend must be halted given the current crisis in the public health service, Ireland’s aging population and increasing demands on the public health system.”
Liam Conway, INMO student and hew graduate officer addedd: “Students were very honest and truthful in this survey.
“The testimonials they gave and the replies to the survey should be a wakeup call to the HSE.
“They have a unique opportunity, which is not available to overseas recruiters, yet they continue each year to leave it too late to recruit, and then engage in a process which is not efficient or encouraging to graduating Irish nurses and midwives.”
Fianna Fáil's health spokesperson is calling on Minister Harris to find ways of keeping doctors and nurses in the Irish health service.
Billy Kelleher says there is a "brain drain" of young medical professionals who are training here in Ireland and then choosing to work overseas.
He says it is simply unforgivable to let that happen when one in 10 acute hospital beds were not in operation last year because of staff shortages.
"What we need if for the HSE to immediately accept that they have a staffing crisis and put in place a proper plan to immediately recruit and retain people," he said.
"Otherwise we're going to have this continual brain-drain of high-quality professionals, both doctors and nurses - and that will just undermine the capacity of the health system to deliver healthcare, particularly in the area of high dependency beds, intensive care unit beds and critical care beds."